Anyone you knows The Goddess, knows that her refrigerator is always bursting at the seams. The reason? One word…condiments. Condiments and sauces are where it’s at. It’s such a luxury to have jars of sauces, relishes or chutney tucked away, just waiting to be smeared on crackers, or added to a grilled cheese. Or serve alongside your Thanksgiving turkey, which is a nice change from, or in addition to, cranberry relish. Apples are so abundant at this time of year. When the season deals you apples, you make apple butter, applesauce or this lovely Apple-Cranberry Chutney. This is the epitome of autumn flavors…apples, cranberries, cider and spices. That’s pretty much it. This is a dump-almost-everything-in-the-pot-type of recipe. We toss the black cardamom in with the apples, at the beginning of the cooking process. By the way, this isn’t true cardamom. You can find black cardamom in Indian markets. Since we’re using dried cranberries, brown sugar, apple cider and ground spices, this condiment tends to be a bit on the dark side. We are using ground spices, instead of whole spices (except for the mustard seed), because we want a huge flavor burst. We add the spices near the end of the cooking process, so the volatile oils, where all the flavor lives, release into the chutney, and are not making your house smell like Yankee Candle’s newest scent…only better!
This chutney is the perfect condiment to serve alongside Pork Butt with Parmesan-Garlic-Rosemary Stuffing. It’s perfection. It really is. And this is equally excellent served with your Thanksgiving turkey. If you’re making this to serve for Thanksgiving, you might want to substitute 1 cup fresh cranberries for the dried. Or walk on the wild side and add them into addition to the dried—the color is richer. Options, baby. That’s where it’s at.
Make this up over the weekend, tuck it into your fridge and let it hang out there to use at your next dinner party or to grace your Thanksgiving table.
Spicy Apple-Cranberry Chutney
- 2 cups peeled and chopped tart cooking apples
- 1/2 cup diced onions (I like red onions)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon julienned orange zest (from 1 orange)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
- 2-3 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
- 1 whole black cardamom pod (optional)
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- Crushed red pepper flakes (1/2-2 teaspoons—optional)
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts (see NOTE)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
In a large heavy pot, place the apples, onions, cranberries, cider, vinegar, brown sugar, orange zest, ginger root, mustard seed, whole cloves and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking and burning, until it thickens slightly. It will take about 25-30 minutes. Stir in the nuts and spices; simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, place in a jar and refrigerate. Keeps well.
Excellent served with turkey, pork, chicken, sharp or bleu cheeses, or on grilled cheese.
NOTE: If you want the chutney to be spicy hot, add the chile flakes earlier in the cooking process. The heat of pepper increases as it cooks. I use the lesser amount when I’m serving this on the side of our Thanksgiving turkey. If I’m serving it with cheese, then I increase the chiles.
You don’t have to add the nuts, but I do like them. They will lose their “crispness”, but are still a delicious addition. If you want the nuts to retain their crispy texture, stir a couple of teaspoons into a small amount just before serving. Crispy bacon bits are also a wonderful addition…it’s bacon, folks!
Spicy Apple-Cranberry Chutney Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
Last night, I served this with Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin. The smokiness of the bacon and the sweet-tart flavor of our chutney are terrific—the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Very tasty. And tomorrow morning, I’m going to serve our lovely chutney, on the side, with Oktoberfest sausages, and scrambled eggs. Yep, options and condiments are truly where it’s at. Enjoy!