My traditional cranberry sauce is my absolute favorite, and I would not be without it. Really, it’s a relish, and it’s super easy. Grind up fresh cranberries and oranges (peel and all), mix with sugar and spices, and let sit overnight in the fridge. Easy.
For giggles, I decided to go with the cranberry sauce recipe – cranberry, pear, and ginger chutney – least like my traditional cranberry holiday staple. If you can tell anything from the four or five jars of chutney in my fridge, it’s that I love chutney. The strong, piquant flavors of chutneys have a hold on me, I’m afraid.
The flavors of Bon Appètit’s cranberry, pear, and ginger chutney are quite strong, so if you have any wimpy palettes at your table, you might want to skip this one. But brave soldiers will devour this chutney. That is, if you follow my suggested changes in the recipe.
The original recipe calls for ¼ cup of grated ginger, which seemed like too much, so I halved that amount right from the start.
The two cups of apple cider vinegar did not faze me when I read the printed recipe, as I can drink vinegar straight from the bottle. But after it was all said and done, I thought the chutney to be heavy on the vinegar. So did some other people who tested the recipe. I’d suggest, at minimum, halving the vinegar and replacing the other half with apple or orange juice. (Recipe below reflects suggestions.)
This brings us to the troubling question of whether or not magazines and cookbooks actually test their recipes. Personally, I think it’s a crock if a for-profit publication doesn’t test all of their recipes. I know some do and some don’t. Which one’s exactly, I’m not sure. I do know that Cook’s Illustrated bases it’s whole publication on the fact that they test, test, and retest their recipes until they get it right. And you know what; I’ve never made anything bad from them.
I’m not saying the chutney below is bad. The recipe just needed tweaking due to, perhaps, a typo or, at worst, an untested recipe. The cranberry, pear, and ginger chutney is lined-up in the fridge door with all of my other chutneys, and most likely will be enjoyed on a cracker with cheese.
Cranberry, Pear, and Ginger Chutney
Adapted from Bon Appètit
makes about 3 1/2 cups
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice or orange juice
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, grated
2 ½ teaspoons lemon peel, finely grated
2 ½ teaspoons orange peel, finely grated
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (I used really hot homegrown and dried peppers, and enjoyed the heat)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 ¼ cups brown sugar, packed
2 large Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- Combine apple cider vinegar, apple juice, onion, ginger, lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon stick, crushed red pepper, and ground cloves in saucepan. Boil mixture for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to 1 ½ cups.
- Add cranberries, brown sugar, and pears. Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until pears and cranberries are soft, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Mash mixture coarsely, if at all, with a potato masher.
- Cool and serve at room temperature.
- Can be made 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.