My favorite cranberry chutney

Yesterday, I posted about how to approach the holidays. I hope you gathered that I think you should eat some stuff you don’t normally eat, because DUH. You have to. It’s the holidays. This isn’t the time for a Whole30. Or a diet. Actually, it’s never time for a diet. This is the time to give yourself some grace, relax, and have ZERO GUILT about anything you eat.

I’ve spoken about how foods fall into two categories for me: worth it and not worth it. It’s a constant evaluation. This happens especially around holiday time. Because in my family, the holidays are studded with tons of special food. Because my entire family is obsessive about making everything from scratch. Nothing comes from a box or is premade. That’s considered an abomination. One time, someone brought a grocery store pie to our Thanksgiving, and my family members were aghast: “IT’S STORE BOUGHT, AND IT’S HERE!?” I get that people don’t have time to make stuff, but around here, it’s just the way it is. It’s how I grew up and it’s my norm. I’m no elitist, because I do still eat Lucky Charms on a weekly basis, but the holidays are a time when it’s extra special and yes, everything should be made from scratch and with heaping helpings of love.

One of the most worth it foods for me is this cranberry sauce that my Godmother makes every Thanksgiving. It’s, hands down, my favorite thing to eat at this time. I’ll even take it over potatoes, it’s THAT good. It’s more of a chutney, because it has tons of texture and spices and complex flavor. This is not your jarred cranberry sauce.

This is also NOT a health food. This recipe has a shocking amount of sugar, but since I only eat it a twice a year (my Godmother also makes it for Christmas), I am NOT eating some sugar-free, paleo-ified sorry excuse for a cranberry sauce. I am eating the real thing.

And this is as real as it gets. I know it’s only two days before Thanksgiving, but I hope this recipe can become a permanent fixture in your arsenal of super worth it holiday foods, too.

My favorite cranberry chutney
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  2. 2 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar, or to taste (you could probably take it down to 2 cups, but I’ve only eaten it with the full amount of sugar)
  3. ¾ teaspoon curry powder
  4. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  5. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  6. ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  7. ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  8. 1 ½ cups water
  9. 2 lemons, zested, pith discarded, fruit cut into sections
  10. 2 navel oranges, zested, pith discarded, fruit cut into sections
  11. 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped coarse
  12. 6 cups cranberries, picked over
  13. ½ cup golden raisins
  14. ½ cup chopped dried peaches
  15. ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, sugar, spices, and water, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the zests, fruit sections, and apple, and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of the cranberries, the raisins, and the peaches and simmer on medium low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Stir in 2 cups of the remaining cranberries and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup cranberries and the walnuts and simmer, stirring, for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool. Chill, covered, overnight.
  3. The chutney can be made up to two weeks in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. While the cranberry sauce is reducing, make sure to keep it at a low simmer. We want it to reduce and thicken, but not TOO much. Reducing it too much and keeping it at a rolling boil will result in an overly sweet sauce.
Adapted from Gourmet
Adapted from Gourmet
Ashley Pardo http://ashleypardo.com/
  1. Santiago Pardo

    November 22nd, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Hey sweetheart great article. This year we will miss Pamela’s cranberry sauce.
    I did not know you ate Lucky Charms everyday, I used to eat Sugar Frosted Flakes or Fruit Loops. It has been years since I ate cereal
    Love Dad

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