My earliest memory of sampling cranberries is at our family's Christmas dinners when, each year, my mother would serve canned cranberry jelly along with roast turkey and corn bread dressing. I loved the tangy taste of this fruit, and for me the berries became quintessential holiday food. Like countless others, I rely on these tart, crimson-hued morsels to add verve to menus during this season. Unlike my mom, however, who preferred canned berries, I use fresh ones.
In fact, almost every year I devise some new recipe for this fruit whether it's a relish, sauce, chutney or salsa. This Christmas, I was ready to pull out one of my "oldie but goodie" cranberry condiments when I came up with the idea for yet another creation. It occurred to me that both clementines and cranberries are available in markets right now and that the two would make admirable partners in a chutney. After some experimenting, I decided that fresh ginger and cinnamon along with balsamic vinegar, and both white and brown sugars, were the only other ingredients needed to accent the two fruits.
This chutney makes a delicious accompaniment to roast turkey, Cornish hens or duck, or it would be equally good paired with a ham or a crown roast of pork. For the days after the 25th, you could make sandwiches with leftover turkey, ham or pork and garnish them with cranberry and clementine chutney.
Cranberry Clementine Chutney
Makes about 3 cups
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
3 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon peeled, finely chopped ginger root
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
6 clementines (See note)
Combine water and granulated sugar in large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and then bring to boil without stirring.
Add cranberries, vinegar, light brown sugar, ginger root and cinnamon, and stir to mix. Lower heat and cook at simmer until berries have popped and mixture is fairly thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow chutney to cool to room temperature.
While chutney is cooling, prepare clementines. Peel clementines and then, with sharp knife, cut away and discard white membranes. Cut segments from each clementine and trim any excess membranes from segments and discard any seeds. When cranberry mixture is cool, stir in clementine segments. Cover and refrigerate chutney. (The chutney will keep well in refrigerator for two days; bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)
Mound chutney in serving bowl to serve.
Note: If clementines are not available, substitute 3 navel oranges. Cut off skin and white membranes with sharp knife. Cut oranges into segments removing white membranes and seeds before adding to cranberry mixture.
Pub Date: 12/20/98