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Edible gifts for the holidays, part three: spiced cranberry chutney

Photo: lenore edman/flickr


This festive chutney makes a great accompaniment to roast turkey, but is just at home as part of a holiday cheese board. The cranberries lend a sharp tartness, but there’s enough underlying sweetness to make this a favorite for kids and adults alike.

Makes about 6 half-pint jars

2 12 oz bags fresh cranberries

1 cup orange juice

3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Special equipment: 6 half-pint jars with new canning lids & bands


Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the jars to the pot and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize.  Hold the jars in the hot water until you’re ready for them.  Spoon some of the hot water into a small bowl and add the jar lids and bands.  Place a small plate in the freezer.

Place all ingredients into a medium, non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for around 15 minutes until cranberries have softened.  To test readiness, remove the plate from the freezer, add a dab of the syrup, and return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute.  If after a minute it has firmed up and wrinkles, it’s good to go.  If it’s still runny, cook the cranberry mixture for 5 minutes longer and re-check.

Carefully remove the jars from the pot, draining the hot water back in as you go, and place them upright on a towel (return the pot of water to a boil).  Divide the chutney between the jars, leaving 1/4” headspace at the top.  Wipe the rims with a clean paper towel, then top with sterilized lids and tighten bands until just finger-tight.

Place the jars back into the pot of boiling water (on top of a canning rack or kitchen towel to keep them from clattering around), make sure they’re covered by at least 1 inch of water, then keep at a steady boil for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove the jars with canning tongs and let them cool for a few hours without disturbing them, until the buttons on the lids depress.  Store in a cool, dry place for up to one year.  (If any of the buttons fail to depress, keep jar in refrigerator and use within a few months.)

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