Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Though it’s after Thanksgiving and crazy to be publishing a cranberry recipe, I’ve been asked for the recipe for my unusually flavorful cranberry sauce, a hit with everyone who loves the taste of lime and ginger. Without a food processor it takes a bit of dicing, but if you have one the only extra work is the cleanup. Though my husband is not a lime/lemon guy, I make a batch of this and use it on my whole-grain toast with crunchy peanut butter every morning until it runs out sometime in March. With my coffee, it makes a great breakfast. If I can still find cranberries in the spring, I often make another batch.

Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:

2 pounds of cranberries (Today that means 2 and a half bags as they are now 12 oz., rather than 16 oz.; I freeze the rest to use in apple pies or crisps). Or you can cut down on the cranberries and make the other calculations yourself.

1 large orange

1 lime

1-2 inch knob of fresh ginger, also chopped fine, can be done in food processor along with fruits

1/2 teaspoon of powdered gingerĀ  or more (if you really love ginger; I do and always add the extra)

2 cups of sugar (if you are worried about tartness, add an extra tablespoon or more but I usually find this adequate. I haven’t done this yet, but I imagine this works just as well with Splenda.

1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of raisins or currents

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 teaspoon of Tabasco or dried red pepper flakes

Preparation:

Dice orange, lime (including rinds) and ginger in food processor with the metal blade and set aside.

Cook cranberries in a heavy pot until they are bursting; add sugar, diced orange and lime, raisins, cinnamon and ginger and mix in. Cook and stir for a while longer over medium to low heat, until all the cranberries burst. The time will depend on the type of pot you use; heavy cast iron over medium heat makes quick work of the boiling berries. Stir frequently or constantly during this process. If a few cranberries are slow to pop, smooch them against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. You don’t want this to cook down into a smooth paste, a slightly chunky chutney consistency is what you want. Turn off heat. When cooled, stir in vanilla and Tabasco sauce or red pepper flakes. Even the whole teaspoon of Tabasco won’t make this very hot, but it you are dubious, add it in bits, stirring it in and tasting before adding more.

If you love lemony, limey tastes, you are unlikely ever to want another cranberry sauce. I put mine in jars and they last in the refrigerator, as I said, until the spring. Great on toast with peanut butter, and it goes well with pork roasts or any meat that can stand up to a strong flavor. Since it is out of the ordinary, put it in a pretty jar, wrap a ribbon around it–voila! a homey house gift when you’re invited to dinner rather than the usual bottle of wine.

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