Cranberry, clementine and apple chutney – A puckering sweet treat

Now this was fun. I have been holding onto this recipe for ages. Cranberry, clementine and apple chutney.

And just this morning I was cruising the frozen fruit section of the supermarket (as you do) and saw that cranberries were on special. I didn’t need any more encouragement.

So with a few of the other ingredients, it was into the kitchen and on with the vinegary odour all afternoon.

I love how certain foods will do that. Sage stuffing? I could eat it all year but only make it at Christmas. And cranberries are definitely one of those fruits which make my mouth water and pucker at the same time. Or is that you get to make a cranberry sauce to go with meat, but actually it’s like eating dessert at the same time? Come on, that sugar you pile on cranberries to make them palatable. You could serve it over ice cream instead of decorating a slice of chicken or turkey and no one would complain.

This recipe is  utterly delicious, even in its non-mature state. A bit like Christmas or Thanksgiving in a jar. Citrusy and cranberry and sweet and sour.

The good thing is I ran out of the small jars when I was bottling them up – so I had to use a large jar which only came up halfway full. That means it’s for the cook and not to give away. It will go straight onto my grilled chicken tonight.

This quantity will make nine small 250ml jars, or two monstrous 500ml jars.

I have adapted it (well, what did I change? Just the quantity of chilli) from a recipe I found in the British version of Good Housekeeping; and thank goodness I will now have an electronic record of it; I keep mislaying the piece of photocopied ingredients.

Cranberry, clementine and apple chutney

  • 3 cooking apples weighing in total 650 grams (1lb 7oz)
  • 4 clementine oranges
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1kg (2lb 2oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 200 grams (7oz) raisins or saltanas
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 300 mls (1/2 pint) red wine vinegar
  • 500 grams (1lb 20z) light brown sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried chilli flakes

Sterilize your jars, lids, ladle and funnel by putting them through a dishwasher cycle.

 

Zest the clementines and then peel the fruit. Roughly chop them, avoiding any white pith or skin, and place in a large heavy based pan.

 

Peel, core and finely chop the apples and add to the clementines, stirring so the apple pieces are well covered in citrus.

 

Add the onions, and ¾ of the cranberries. (If frozen, no need to defrost).

 

Add the raisins, peppercorns, vinegar, sugar and chilli flakes.

 

Cook on low heat, stirring so the sugar dissolves and all the ingredients are well combined.

 

Increase the heat and cook, uncovered for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.

 

Stir in the last of the cranberries and cook another 10 minutes.

 

Ladle the chutney into sterilized jars, making sure the plumper whole cranberries are evenly distributed.

 

Store in a dark spot for a few months for the flavours to mellow; or serve at once and take good care not to crunch down on those peppercorns.