Cranberry Apple Chutney

November 5, 2010 · 26 comments

filed in: Fruit,Gluten-Free,Sauces/Condiments/Marinades,Vegetarian/Vegetarian Option

Cranberry Apple Chutney

The arrival of fresh cranberries at my local market always puts me in a festive mood and signals that the holiday season is just around the corner. Every year I begin stalking these deliciously tart berries in mid-October and have even been known to make unnecessary trips to the market just to see if there were any to be had. Finally last week there they were in all their ruby colored glory. Joy! I scored a half dozen bags of fresh cranberries and happily made my way home, feeling as though I’d won a prize.

Because the North American cranberry season is so short, this year I’ve vowed to get serious about preparing a variety of cranberry preserves to enjoy throughout the year. This recipe for cranberry apple chutney, which is heavily adapted from a recipe for cranberry chutney found in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, is my opening salvo in this mission. The appealing combination of tart cranberries, sweet apples, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and hot pepper used here would work well as an accompaniment for roast chicken, pork, or lamb. It would also be ideal as part of a fall/winter cheese course, served with fresh goat cheese or cream cheese.


4-5 cooking apples (or a combination of apples and pears, if you prefer), peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
A 2-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1/4 cup raisins
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3/4 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice or water
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (12 ounces)


  1. Assemble sterilized Mason jars totaling 1 quart in volume and their corresponding lids. I used four half-pint jars for this recipe.
  2. In a large stainless steel or enameled stock pot, combine all ingredients except the cranberries, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil the mixture on a medium heat burner for approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the mixture takes on a syrupy, jam-like consistency. Remove the pot from the burner and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully spoon the chutney mixture into the prepared Mason jars, wipe the jars’ rims and threading with a damp paper towel, and firmly screw on the lids to finger tight.
  4. If you intend to use all of the chutney within one month, you may simply allow the jars to cool to room temperature and then store them continuously in the refrigerator. However, if you plan to store them at room temperature for later use, they must be processed in a hot water bath, as described in step 5 below.
  5. Place the sealed Mason jars on a rack in the bottom of a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water to a depth one inch higher than the tops of the jars. Place the pot on a burner set to high heat, bring the water to a full rolling boil, boil for 10 minutes, and then take the pot off the burner. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water, and check their seals by pressing down on the center of each lid, which should be slightly concave and not flex. If that is not the case, boil the jars for a few more minutes. When done, set the jars aside to cool to room temperature. This recipe makes one quart of chutney and can be doubled.

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Kian December 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm

There is nothing better than a good cranberry “sauce” for the holidays. Chutneys and relishes are wonderful options to accompany whatever holiday dishes you’re planning. Your version sounds absolutely divine.


Heather Davis November 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

Barbara – I still have a load of apples from my trees so I was thinking about using the “over-ripe” ones that are left on some preserving. This looks like a great way to combine them with cranberries. Am printing out the recipe as I type so will let you know how it goes! Thanks


Barbara November 25, 2010 at 10:08 am

I’m so jealous you have your own apple trees! My fall/winter fruit trees are tangerines, oranges, and starfruit, which just don’t have the same autumn spirit about them.


Cajun Chef Ryan November 12, 2010 at 11:03 am

I have never made a cranberry chutney, and this one looks wonderful with the cardamom and cayenne adding that zing flavor. I have always made a fresh compote of cranberry and orange, going to have to try my hand at this chutney, I bet it would be a great canning preservation canditate also! Bon appetit!


Barbara November 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thanks Ryan. I too always make a raw cranberry/orange relish for Thanksgiving dinner — my favorite part of the meal — and I’ll never give it up. But this year I’ve committed myself to canning a variety of cranberry preserves, including this chutney, so I can enjoy my beloved cranberries throughout the year.


My Man's Belly November 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I always have regrets when cranberry season is over – I never buy/eat enough of them. Reading this has inspired me to get my act together and start cooking some cranberries. Thanks!


Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog November 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Great way to take advantage of cranberries- brilliant chutney! Irresistible with a cup of coffee. Cheers, Gera


Barbara Bakes November 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I saw an enormous bag of cranberries at Sam’s Club, now I’m wishing I would have bought it. I look forward to all your cranberry posts. I love them too.


Delishhh November 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm

You are verry funny. But I love this post. I am also a fan of cranberries, but I grew up on lingonberries. So cranberries are pretty new to me but love them and just made some delicious cranberry bars. I do have to try this chutney sounds amazing.


SMITH BITES November 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

Barbara ~ you KNOW I’m all over this one! Love it and soooooo appreciate getting this recipe at the beginning of cranberry season rather than at the end. And to be able to preserve this for future meals? Big time plus!


Megan November 8, 2010 at 8:43 am

Great minds really do think a like!!! I just bought stuff to make a cranberry relish yesterday but ran out of time and hope to make it today. I’ll have to try this recipe too.


Susan: My Food Obsession November 8, 2010 at 7:29 am

Your chutney looks so scrumptious, we really don’t get Cranberries her in Australia – we are really missing out!


Barbara November 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

They’re gorgeous, deliciously sour beauties that I really missed while living outside the northern hemisphere cranberry belt for the past 30 years. I’m making up for that “lost” time now, though, to an extent that even my husband finds a bit strange!


Katrina November 7, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Mmm, thise sound like it would be yummy on some yogurt. I just bought me a couple bags of cranberries myself. Tis the season!


Summer November 7, 2010 at 9:36 am

A good chutney excites my taste buds and this is what this delicious chutney is dng rite now! A fantastic combo of ingredients for a super fantastic chutney! Cheers!


Peggy November 7, 2010 at 8:28 am

I absolutely love cranberry anything! I’m definitely going to have a go at this recipe!


Deeba November 7, 2010 at 7:57 am

I love a good chutney Barbara, and often feel miffed that we aren’t a cranberry & blueberry country! I would love to make something that looks as gorgeous as this. YUM! Love the blue ceramic platter too.


Barbara November 17, 2010 at 6:21 am

Thanks, Deeba. My sister-in-law, Karen, made the dish which is actually a spoon rest. I’ll pass along the compliment!


Joanne November 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I see myself learning to preserve explicitly so that I can eat this indefinitely!


Barbara November 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

I’m a canning newbie too, and found the process considerably quicker and easier than I thought it would be. However, I highly recommend consulting the book referenced above before starting or reviewing an online tutorial, such as the ones at, before starting the process. Very useful!


marla {family fresh cooking} November 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

This is my favorite time of year as far as ingredients go. From pumpkin, to sweet potato to cranberries- love all the flavors of the season. Your chutney is gorgeous. Love the addition of apples & cranberries, very unique & fun. Wonderful photos!


Faith November 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

I know I will enjoy all of these great dishes. They will make a great treat for Thanksgiving! I sure should make it for my hubby at Thanksgiving. It’s his favorite holiday. Thanks for posting this. They look great.


blackbookkitchendiaries November 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

this is something my whole family would love.. the colors are just stunning and i really cant wait to try this one out. thank you for sharing.


Mags@OtherSideOf50 November 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I love this season! All of the Thanksgiving recipes start to work their way out of the woodwork…. and this one looks delicious!


Suzanne November 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm

” . . . and have been know to make unnecessary trips to the market . . .” LOL! Story of my life for things such as this. I saw some huge bags of cranberries just today and had already planned so many other things that I left them screaming my name like a 3 year old being dropped at the sitters as I walked away. Nearly broke my heart! I love all things cranberry and now I’m going to have to make that “unnecessary trip” BACK to the store to get my fill. Mainly because you have inspired me with your recipe. This will be a “Must Make” for me!! As always, YUMMY pictures!


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