Everyone has his or her favorite dish for Thanksgiving, and call me strange but I’ve always loved the cranberry sauce – even when it comes out in jelly form from a can.

It must be something about the sweet-tart nature of cranberry sauce. As an adult, I generally made my cranberry for Thanksgiving not as a sauce, but as a chutney, which I’ve found to be less sweet and more interesting.

This year, I’ll be heading to Portland to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family (I see lots of baking ahead with my two little nieces). So we’re going to make dishes in honor of Portland. For the cranberry, I found a cranberry-apple chutney recipe from the “Dishing Up Oregon” cookbook, which I’ve cooked from before. This recipe comes from Portland’s Grand Central Bakery, which features it in its popular turkey sandwich.

The cranberry dish is always simple to make, just throw all the ingredients in the pot and 40 minutes later …

… it cooks down to a nice, thickened sauce (or in this case, chutney).

I can see why it’s popular. The chutney has a kick to it with a bit of cayenne pepper, and the crunch of apples makes the whole dish seem really fresh. The actual recipe was a bit odd to me, however, because of the high apple-to-cranberry ratio (four cups of diced apples compared to 1-1/2 cups of cranberries). So when I made my version to test it before the real event next week, I added just three cups of apples and also used just one red onion (instead of two) because I’m not a fan of a lot of onion. I thought it turned out just fine. (I actually can’t imagine what it would be like with two red onions, unless they grow really small in Portland.)

I reprinted the recipe as originally published, but you might want to adjust the ingredients to your taste just like how I did it, just as long as you put all the ingredients listed. Enjoy!

Chutney makes a nice alternative to regular cranberry sauce

Cranberry-Apple Chutney Recipe
Excerpted from “Dishing Up Oregon” (Storey Publishing, 2011)

Makes about 4.5 cups

2 t extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely diced (about 1-2/3 cups)
2 t finely minced garlic
1 t finely grated fresh ginger
3-4 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 t yellow mustard seeds
1 1/3 t ground allspice
1 t cayenne pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Stir in the apples, cranberries, vinegar, sugar, currants, raisins, mustard seeds, allspice, and cayenne. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the apples and cranberries have cooked down and the sauce has thickened, about 40 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the chutney to an airtight container to cool. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the chutney will keep for about 1 week.

6 Responses to Going All Chutney On My Cranberries

  1. Row says:

    Canuck Thanksgiving has passed, but this would be delicious alongside the turkey come December. I don’t like too much onion either, so I’ll keep your tip in mind. Thanks. 🙂

    • Ben Ben says:

      Awww, I’m sorry I missed Canuck Thanksgiving! Sounds so fun. What are the traditional dishes for Canuck Thanksgiving?

      • Row says:

        Pretty much the same as American Thanksgiving. This year we had smoked turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, a bunch of Asian dishes, and the pumpkin muffins. 🙂

  2. Anne says:

    We must be on the same wavelength. I’ve been thinking about making cranberry chutney to give as holiday gifts, but I hadn’t started looking for a good recipe. Now I don’t have to – thanks!
    Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy baking with your nieces. Hope you’ll write about what you make – with recipes of course!

    • Ben Ben says:

      This recipe makes a lot (and really, how much cranberry do people eat per plate?) so it definitely makes a nice gift in cute little jars. Have a nice Thanksgiving, Ann! I’ll be posting my Thanksgiving dinner pics post-Thanksgiving on my Facebook fan page, so be sure you’ve “liked” my page! 😉

  3. hungry dog says:

    Thanks–I could use a new cranberry recipe. I always use the same one which is perfectly fine but not at all exciting. Happy Thanksgiving, Ben!