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Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe: Angela's Cranberry Chutney

You either love canned cranberry sauce, or you don't. Growing up, I was never a fan of that gelatinous reddish mass that slid out of the can, its embedded grooves acting as a guide for slicing. It always tasted a bit metallic to me, but maybe that was from having to open the can and dump it on a plate, one of my Thanksgiving jobs. Many in my family love it, my grandma Pat in particular, but I avoided the cran classic when altogether possible.

That was until my mother moved in with her fiance and Thanksgiving became a giant blended family affair.  My step-grandmother, Angela, makes a cranberry chutney that makes the New England berry sing its tart, sweet song. Melded together with fall fruits and autumn spices, this is a condiment that celebrates the cranberry, liberates it from the sad, sad can, and makes even the driest turkey delectable (well, maybe not that last one, but it sure is amazing on leftovers sandwiches the next day!).

You may want to double the recipe, because even those who aren't cranberry converts may be spooning this onto their plates with abandon. Though not grandma Pat, she still loves her can. Some things never change.

Angela's Cranberry Chutney

2 lbs. cranberries
2 apples (chopped, not peeled)
2 pears (chopped, not peeled)
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup fresh orange juice
1/2 Cup raisins
2 tbsp. orange peels or zest
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 Cup Cointreau, Grand Marnier or any other orange-based liqueur

Wash cranberries. Combine all ingredients except liqueur in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for twenty minutes or until berries pop open. Add Cointreau, mix well and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

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