Thanksgiving Sides – Cranberry Chutney

cranberry chutney 1

If you’ve ever eaten anything ‘cranberry’ chances are it came from here – Wisconsin! Our home state grows about 60% of the US crop. September and October bring in the harvest and bags of these tart red beauties begin to show up in time for fall baking.

When I was growing up there were certain “must have” elements to Thanksgiving dinner. My sisters and I absolutely had to have a straight-from-the-can perfect circle of Jellied Cranberry Sauce. Depending upon how thick our piece was we might have seen the imprint of can lines along the edge of the jelly. There was something oddly satisfying about cutting that circle into little shapes on our plates. We may have been interested in the novelty rather than the taste but our Mom was happy to indulge us. The tradition lives on and, in addition to having a bowl of homemade chutney on the table, we always have a perfect cylinder of the canned sauce to feed our nostalgia.

Traditional cranberry chutney makes a sweet and tangy accompaniment to the savory elements of Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe combines citrus and spice for subtle but not overpowering flavor. It’s best made a day ahead to allow it to cool completely and for the flavors to intensify.

Chutney isn’t just for Thanksgiving. Serve the sauce alongside pork, or with crackers and a mellow cheese, or in a wheel of Brie en Croute. It’s also mighty tasty in a turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving – if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers!

Cranberry Chutney

12 oz. fresh cranberries

1 orange, peeled, segmented and chopped

Grated zest of half the orange

1 apple, peeled and diced

1 Cinnamon stick

1 Cup water

1/2 Cup white sugar

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Tsp. ground allspice

1/2 Tsp. ground ginger

1 Tbl. Balsamic vinegar


Heavy bottomed saucepan

Sauce It

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Rinse cranberries and add to saucepan. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil on medium heat until cranberries have popped and mixture starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low and simmer 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool completely. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 2 cups.



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