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Author Notes: Tired of that gelatinous blob that calls itself cranberry sauce, but is really little more than tart jello and food coloring? This take on the traditional sauce is extra chunky, so it's actually more like a chutney. Even with no added sugar, it's delicately sweet but still tart. This chutney is best made two or three days before hand, as the flavors will be fully combined. The spiced brandy gives it an extra kick that is sure to please everyone at your holiday gathering. —Michael
- 12 ounces Fresh Cranberries
- 1 Gala Apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 Valencia Oranges and zest, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups Black Walnuts
- 1 cup Dried Pineapple
- 1 cup Dried Apricot
- 1 cup Dried Kiwi
- 1 teaspoon Allspice
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Nutmeg
- 2 cups Spiced Brandy
- 1/2 cup Honey
- In a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan with a lid combine honey, 1 cup spiced brandy, orange zest, and apples. Cover with water and simmer low and slow until the apples are tender, but not mushy. About twenty minutes.
- In a food processor or blender (or with your knife if you have neither) pulse the dried fruit five or six times, or until the desired texture is achieved. Add the walnuts and pulse once or twice more to chop the nuts.
- Add cranberries, pear, the orange flesh, and the dried fruit and nut mixture. Make sure not to get any of the white pith from the orange in the pot, as it will taste bitter. Cover this with water, and simmer low and slow covered. It should not boil. You will hear the cranberries start to pop after about fifteen minutes. Stir every fifteen minutes until the desired consistency is reached, at least two hours. It should be thick, and brilliant red in color. Keep the lid on the pan, unless you want to spend the better part of your day scrubbing your stovetop.
- Add allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste, gently stirring and tasting between additions. Add more honey if it is too tart for your liking.
- Remove from heat and get the sauce out of the pan quickly for easy clean up. Allow chutney to cool to room temperature or use an ice bath to bring the temperature down before adding the second cup of spiced brandy. Alternatively, if you don't mind the alcohol cooking off, you can add it before you remove it from the heat or while it's still hot.
- Store in a large freezer bag with all the air pushed out in the refrigerator. This chutney will keep for at least two weeks, perhaps even longer if you don't cook off the second cup of brandy. I have to admit, however, that this is a guess. It's never lasted more than two days in my house!