Monday, December 10, 2007

Cranberry-Orange Chutney

Makes 4 half-pint jars

· 4 half-pint canning jars (see note below)
· 3 1/4 cups whole, fresh cranberries
· 1 medium shallot, minced
· 3 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced
· 1 garlic clove, minced
· 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
· 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
· 1/2 cup granulated sugar
· 1/4 cup orange juice
· 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
· 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
· 1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
· 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
· 1 tsp salt
· 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1.Set aside the jars' flat lids. Either run the 4 half-pint glass canning jars and their metal rings through the dishwasher on a heated-dry cycle; or place them in a large saucepan, fill with water to cover the jars and rings by 2 inches and boil over high heat for 10 minutes. Do not drain until ready to fill.

2.Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the cranberries have broken down and the mixture has thickened somewhat, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

3.Carefully ladle the chutney into the hot jars; seal with both the flat, rubber-rimmed lids and the metal ring to hold them in place. If you get any chutney on the jars' rims, you must wipe them clean before sealing. Immediately turn the jars upside down and let stand 10 minutes.

Although you're not using traditional canning practice here, this will help seal the jars as the rubberized rim of the lid expands and then contracts onto the jar. Turn right side up and continue cooling to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

·Serving size: 2 Tbsp

·Canning jars must have three parts: the jar, a flat lid with a rubberized sealing lip and the screw-on ring to hold this flat lid in place.

About Cranberry-Orange Chutney
Cranberries are tart and wonderful-and sometimes in short supply. Consider buying a couple bags when you see them; the berries can be stored in the freezer for up to 9 months. Use them to make this easy chutney, an East Indian-inspired condiment that's great alongside roasts, on top of baked potatoes or with eggs of any variety.

For the recipes to turn out best, make them on a day that's bright and clear-a high-pressure day. Cloudy, humid and rainy weather are bitter pills to baking and outright poison to candy-making. Clear, bright skies mean perfect lollipops, set chutney and crunchy granola.

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