A lively cranberry apple chutney that’s equally perfect atop grilled cheese and Thanksgiving turkey.
This recipe began as a plain old apple chutney, free of cranberries and the holiday connotations they carry. I made the fist batch offhandedly with a few apples about to turn, a handful of raisins, and leftover ground spices from recipe development. The endgame was after-school quesadillas for the kids. If I had to serve up fried tortillas with cheese, the chutney, if not necessarily healthy, would at least complicate the flavors or elevate the quesadilla experience.
That was a month or so back. Since then, I’ve been wanting to make chutney again, with an eye to using up my seemingly endless supply of apples on the edge.
It feels early for holiday recipes, but perhaps we can just enjoy cranberries, a decidedly seasonal item, without the weight of turkey and Thanksgiving sandwiches bearing down. Let’s consider the cranberry just as it is – bright and tangy, playfully sour, and made to cozy up to a bit of brown sugar.
Like any good (great?) chutney, this one’s bright and layered with spices. It’s cooked just briefly, so the apples stay firm and the cranberries pop. There are comforting undertones of cider vinegar, mustard seed, and buttery onions. It’s festive, for sure, and would be great on the Thanksgiving table, but it’s also right at home alongside quesadillas and cheese of any kind, or nestled alongside roasted roots, chicken, or pork.
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil)
- 1 red onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (young ginger, if possible)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cups chopped apples (from 2 - 3 apples)
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, and when hot, add the onions and ginger. Sauté until tender and aromatic, 5 - 7 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and scrape up any brown bits. Fold in sugar, mustard seeds, sea salt, and pepper, followed by the apples, cranberries, raisins, and cinnamon sticks.
- Bring mixture to a gentle boil and then turn heat down to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until the cranberry skins burst and apples soften, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Chutney will thicken considerably.
- Spoon into clean jars, seal, and set in the fridge. Chutney will keep well for 2 weeks.