Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry Apple Chutney

Do you remember last year's post about this burst of fall flavor?

Cranberry Apple Chutney has to be one of my all-time favorite condiments.  It is Exhibit A for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan food being utterly delicious.  And while you can put it on just about anything, it really shines on turkey.  Okay, I realize that completely contradicts that whole vegan thing, but hey - you can put it on tofurkey, too, right?

The house smells like bright, sunshiny fall, heavy with spice.  So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to re-blog the recipe for you all and show you the adorable spoons my friend makes.  She's one of those uber-crafty types and, let me tell you, you want to grab these while you can.  After recent media attention, and celebrity party planners scooping them up, they're hot! hot! hot!

I'm a tad obsessed with them and have a few projects planned over the next few weeks.  I can't wait to share them with you all.  She can put darn near anything on a spoon, but her in stock designs are to-die-for cute.  Knowing I am enamored with all things Alice, she sent me a nice set:

3 cups of fresh cranberries
3 cups of peeled, diced apples (I used honeycrisps and granny smith that were too bruised for my kids to possibly eat)
1 cups of sugar
1 1/3 cups of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp good cinnamon (I like Penzey's vietnamese)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (dried stuff is fine)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (please)

Dump it all in a heavy bottomed stainless steel pot.  (The BEST stock pot ever - not too big, not too small, steams veggies, drains pasta, all in all great pot.  I've had it for years and we use it 3-5 times a week.)

This isn't a baking recipe, order doesn't really matter.

Stir occasionally to make sure the sugar is getting mixed in and not burning on the bottom of your pan.  Also, I realized that cranberries are loaded with pectin, the stuff that makes jelly and jam stick together.  As they burst, they will sort of fall to the bottom and can get goopy down there.  Don't worry if that happens, it mixes right back in.  (not that I know from experience or anything)

This needs to simmer for about 25 minutes.  It will thicken, reduce, and all the cranberries will pop.  You can encourage them by smooshing them against the side of the pot.  Your house will smell like heavenly fall goodness at this point (and yes, the vinegar smells STRONG in the beginning, but trust me. It's right.  And it mellows out.)

When it's done, it will be thick, almost the consistency of applesauce.
See how thick it is here?

And, of course, it makes a ton and would be an awesome hostess gift.  Here's an itty bitty "ice cream spoon" from Sucre and Spice tied on a tiny jar for gifting:

Happy Eating!