I know. It’s the day before Thanksgiving. If you’re a planner, you may want to tuck this post away for next year. You’ve probably already gotten everything assembled. You’ve got your grocery shopping done. You had your menu planned weeks ago. You are a Thanksgiving machine and you’ve got this.
If you’re not a planner, then you may still be looking for last minute additions to the Thanksgiving table. I am not a planner, which is why I’m posting this the day before Thanksgiving. If we’re in the same boat, may I suggest this cranberry chutney as a worthy addition to your Thanksgiving table?
I’ve been making a version of this cranberry chutney for at least 7 years now. I first found it on Orangette, and I don’t remember the first time I made it, but I do remember not being legally able to buy the booze that Molly’s version calls for. It was such a success that I’ve made it for every Thanksgiving since (save the one I spent in England and we held a feast for almost 80 people. There were some sourcing and scalability issues there).
There’s a reason this cranberry chutney’s a classic. I love its bracing, sweet-tart taste, and the way the ginger sneaks in and out, giving brief glimpses of its fiery bite. The texture is yielding but not soft or gelatinous, the sort that I want to accompany all sorts of Thanksgiving goodies. On the table, in a beautiful cut-glass bowl (the kind I borrow from my mom) the vibrant cranberries and dark currants are suspended in a beautiful, jewel bright sauce. It looks festive and elegant, just right for your Thanksgiving table. And I also love how easy it is. The whole thing takes less than 15 minutes, and the most complicated part of making the chutney is chopping the crystalized ginger.
This recipe also takes very kindly to adaptations. Every year I pull out Molly’s book and turn to the most tattered and stained page. And every year I change things up just a bit. I might swap out the vinegar, or use different preserves, or sub allspice in for cloves. Here’s this year’s adaptation, filled with apple butter and currants. It’s sweet-tart and bright, the perfect bite of relief after a mouthful of buttery mashed potatoes and rich gravy.
Happy happy Thanksgiving. May your meal be delicious, your company even better, and your day be full of things to be grateful for.
Cranberry Chutney with Crystalized Ginger and Currants
Be sure to check your cranberries before making this chutney- there are usually a few soft, mushy, or otherwise inedible berries hiding in a bag.
adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
Makes 1 quart
12 ounces apricot preserves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cranberry juice
1 teaspoon apple butter
pinch ground cloves
12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger
In a medium saucepan combine the apricot preserves, vinegar, cranberry juice, apple butter, salt, cloves. Stir well and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until it’s thickened a bit.
Stir in the cranberries. Let the cranberries cook for a few minutes, until you hear a few pop. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the currants and ginger.
Allow to cool completely before serving.