Homemade Holidays #1: Cranberry Chutney

I could tell you the long detailed story of just how my life has devolved into chaos in the past few weeks.  But that would certainly take more than twenty minutes, and twenty minutes is all that I have.  And I really want is to share this chutney with you.   I promised the recipe for my cranberry chutney in my Thanksgiving recap post, and discussed how I was wrongly tempted to make it as an appetizer to the big dinner.  But here’s the thing about Thanksgiving: it doesn’t need appetizers.  And here’s the thing about this chutney: it will get eaten.  Perhaps not the best idea to include on a menu when the main event is still to come, but this chutney is perfect for the later winter holidays (where eating isn’t the main event)!

My mother has been making this dish for Christmas  since I can remember, but for a long time in my childhood, I refused to try it.  I regret my younger self’s obstinence (though my mother probably misses it–now we practically battle each other for each bite!)  I made this for my roommates and friends in college and all exclaimed “It tastes like Christmas!”  And it certainly does.  The tangy vinegar play off of the tart cranberries beautifully, with a touch of spices and a little bit of sugar to hold things together.  Warmed over smooth melting brie, it is absolutely divine!  If you do not like brie (I’ll pretend I did not hear such blasphemy), this chutney is equally delicious over room-temperature goat’s cheese or even cream cheese.  I’ve wanted to try how it pairs with pork for years, but I also manage to eat it all before I take the time to put a porkchop in the pan.  Maybe a few of you could try it and let me know?  And I’ll try harder to mark a batch for dinner, instead of just for the brie!

Cranberry Chutney

  • 1 c. cranberries
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. cider vinegar
  • 2T water
  • 2t. minced gingerroot
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. cloves

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Heat over medium heat until boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and berries have burst (you can help them along, if need be, by squishing against the side of the pan).  Serve over a warmed round of brie, with crackers.

Can be kept, covered, in the fridge for several days.  This recipe also cans quite well.