Thursday, November 3, 2011

Spicy Cranberry Apple Chutney and tradition


I believe in giving people gifts early. It's a bit of a tradition of mine.  I'll intentionally send a birthday package weeks or even months early to my best friend or my dad.  Then I'll call and try to persuade them to open it early.  If I know they are going to like the gift, I want them to enjoy it for as long as possible.  So here's a little gift in the form of a recipe.  I hope you'll make it for yourself, sooner than later.


Cranberries are now in season, but they made a timid appearance in the grocery store a few weeks ago.  As soon as I saw a small stack of them in the produce section, hiding behind the out-of-season strawberries, I grabbed a few bags. I made a batch of cranberry orange muffins, twiddled my thumbs a little and then saw no reason to wait any longer to make my favorite cranberry sauce.  Instead, I'm indulging in this spicy, crunchy, complex chutney for the next few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.


I am not exactly a traditionalist and I'm not one to get very wrapped up in the holidays.  I always vary my Thanksgiving menu, and this year I plan on roasting pork instead of turkey. It's hard to imagine a Thanksgiving dinner in my home without this spicy cranberry chutney -- the one I ate every year growing up. I serve it in the one piece of heavy crystal that I own, from my grandmother. On certain traditions, I don't compromise.


Spicy Cranberry Apple Chutney
Serve with roasted chicken, turkey or pork. I instantly livens up a turkey sandwich, a bowl of plain yogurt or some cottage cheese. It will keep in the refrigerator for over a week.

4 cups (1 pound) fresh cranberries
1 cup seedless raisins
1-2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup water
1 medium size onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium size apple, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

Combine cranberries, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and water in a large saucepan.
Cook 15 minutes until the berries pop and mixture thickens.
Stir in onion, apple and celery.
Simmer 15 minutes longer, or until mixture is thick.
Cool and refrigerate.


  1. I should follow your example; I am always at a loss when giving gifts and it is a stressful chore for me. I think if I switch to food gifts, it will be a lot easier for me and tastier for them! This chutney looks mighty good especially with that sandwich! Yum, love cranberries!

  2. delicious flavours and combination for this chutney

  3. that cranberry sauce looks incredible! The right way to warm up for the Holidays!!

  4. I love cranberry chutney and Nicole, that sandwich is to die for!
    You can tell I'm hungry, right?

  5. Taste of Beirut, you just gave me an idea, maybe i'll only give food gifts this year!

    Pola, you should try it!

    Magda, reading food blogs always makes me hungry :)

  6. Oh, if only we could get fresh cranberries here....
    this year I'm protesting against the cranberries in a can which is the only form of cranberry I've found in Italy (other than dried, but can't make cranberry sauce with those, can I?) so I won't be having cranberries with my turkey at thanksgiving (sob), but if I were, I'd definitely make your chutney!!

  7. Nicole, it looks beautiful. I can't wait to try it.

  8. I was already mesmerized by the second picture of those lovely fresh cranberries. And then you snuck up on me with the picture of that sandwich. How could you do that to me?

  9. Perfect timing - I will be sure to try this.

  10. Nicole, I would love your secret to being an early gift giver - I seem to be perpetually late! This chutney looks so delicious and not too heavy on the sugar. The perfect pre-Thanksgiving kick-off!

  11. I also love Taste of Beirut's idea for food gifts - jarring up this cranberry chutney would be the perfect holiday present!

  12. I love that you send early! It's a wonderful gesture and I'm going to try and do the same! Why not? Right? I mean what are we waiting for?!?! Love it Nicole!

    Also, the spicy Apple Cranberry Chutney is 100% FOR SURE the cranberry we'll be making this year...I POMISE YOU THAT!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe and photos! :)

  13. A friend of mine just gave me a loaf of yeasted sweet potato-pecan bread. Think how delicious a turkey sandwich with your chutney would be on that!

    My cranberry-apple recipe doesn't have onion or celery--and I like that inclusion. thanks, Nichole.

  14. Thank you for this kind gift. Yum. I like spicy and I'm intrigued by the celery addition.

  15. I stumbled across this same recipe many many years ago and I hated Cranberry Sauce so I tried this recipe. It is now a tradition in my family. The first Thanksgiving my nieces were away from home asked me for it. It is so good and you can make it ahead of time is great and it last for a long time afterwards. A couple of years ago, I replaced the sugar with Stevia. Stevia worked great in it.


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