I don’t think there is any reason to rely on jarred, super sweet cranberry sauces when it’s so easy to make one with fresh cranberries that’s both delicious and healthy.

My friend Steve posted this Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney over at food52 last year and since Thanksgiving is almost upon us, the recipe was on my mind.

I put my own spin on it of course, and was very pleased with the result.

cranberry Chutney

Cranberries are extremely high in antioxidants. Studies show they contain compounds that help prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract. They may also prevent bacteria from sticking to other parts of the body, as well, including within the digestive tract and on the teeth.

This means cranberry consumption can help ward away bacterial infections. For cranberries to be most beneficial, they should not have much sweetener added, but they are decidedly less palatable this way. For this reason, I try not to use too much sugar in recipes like this cranberry chutney.

I’ve never cooked with juniper berries before. When I first sampled one, I was transported to the forest and reminded of pine: I really love what they bring to this chutney. Make sure to crush them before using to ensure you get the most out of their distinctive flavor.

You can certainly enjoy this at Thanksgiving (I will!), but it would also be great with other roasted meats. It’s also fantastic on turkey or ham sandwiches.

Recipe for Cranberry Chutney with Dried Apricots and Fresh Ginger

Adapted from the recipe for Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney at food52 by Oui Chef Steve

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

* 12 ounces fresh cranberries
* 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
* 1 large fuji (or other very crunchy) apple, peeled and diced
* 3/4 cup organic sugar
* 1/2 cup organic apple juice
* 1/4 cup dried apricots
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
* juice of 1/2 large lemon (I used Meyer lemon)
* 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed with the side of a knife
*1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flaked- optional
* pinch of sea salt, plus more to taste
* pinch of ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Add all the ingredients to a cast-iron skillet and bring to a boil.

2. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the chutney cooks down and thickens (about 20 minutes). Serve warm or chilled.

Cranberry Chutney

 

14 Comments

  1. 1

    saltyseattle — November 19, 2010 @ 11:44 am

    This recipe just might be the winner next week- love the supersecret ginger and apricot extras.

    On another note, wanted to drop by to tell you that I appreciate you and I love the value you add to this community. xo, linda

    • Winnie replied: — November 19th, 2010 @ 11:47 am

      Thanks Linda…the feeling is very mutual.

  2. 2

    Tweets that mention Cranberry Chutney with Dried Apricots and Spices | Healthy Green Kitchen -- Topsy.com — November 19, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Turkey, Winnie Abramson. Winnie Abramson said: Time for something turkey day related…spiced cranberry chutney http://su.pr/7VIHHj [...]

  3. 3

    Nutmeg Nanny — November 19, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    Delicious! Great minds must think alike :) I posted a cranberry recipe today too.

    • Winnie replied: — November 19th, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

      Thanks Brandy! Yes, great minds…

  4. 4

    Liz the Chef — November 19, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    Just the excuse I needed to buy yet more cranberries! They freeze beautifully, hold their color and I am making your chutney after TG. (Already chutney’d and sauce’d up for the big day.) Will post a photo for you on twitter…Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Winnie replied: — November 19th, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

      Thanks Liz, and right back at you! ps I may make your pumpkin cheesecake…will let you know ;)

  5. 5

    Sprinkles of Parsley — November 19, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    Beautiful post! Your pictures and the recipe look great!

  6. 6

    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — November 19, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    What a fabulous cranberry recipe, Winnie! I love every single component of this chutney, except that I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a juniper berry. Not sure I could find them in my area, but I’ll bet it would still be fantastic without them!

  7. 7

    5 Star Foodie — November 20, 2010 @ 5:27 am

    I love the combination of cranberries with apricots, what a terrific idea, and a wonderful choice of spices here!

  8. 8

    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — November 20, 2010 @ 9:37 am

    This sounds fabulous! Love this one!! Hope you are well and happy holidays!

  9. 9

    Monet — November 20, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

    I agree…I don’t know how anyone can buy the canned variety when the homemade version tastes so good! I tend to keep my cranberry sauce simple, but I love what you did here. I can only imagine the flavor! I’ve had juniper berries in tea, but never in a chutney…what a wonderful addition! Thank you for sharing, dear. I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

  10. 10

    Cookin' Canuck — November 20, 2010 @ 11:41 pm

    The mixture of savory and sweet in this cranberry chutney is really nice. What a great idea to include juniper berries!

  11. 11

    Oui, Chef — November 22, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    Hey Winnie – Thanks for the shout-out, and I love how you tweaked the recipe….meyer lemon, juniper berries, apricots….YUM! – S

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