Cranberry apple chutney is a cooked fruit condiment with sweet-tart flavor. Make this recipe for a switch from your holiday cranberry sauce!
Cranberries vs. Karonda
If you live in the United States, you know that fresh cranberry sauce is a very popular side dish in the fall, especially with a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
Considering the popularity of chutney recipes in countries along the Silk Road, I decided to swap the classic cranberry sauce I normally make for a cranberry chutney instead. The problem is, cranberries are not widely available in those parts of the world.
What to do? Well, a little research revealed that Indians use a different red berry to make chutney. It’s called karonda fruit, also known as black currant, bengal currant, or Christ’s thorn. Karonda is a small pinkish-white berry that grows on a bushy spiny plant during the summer monsoons in India.
Just like cranberries, the currant has a sour flavor and some great health benefits So, although the cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpus) and karonda (Carissa carandas) aren’t botanically related, they are definitely great substitutes for one another.
This recipe is my take on a sweet karonda chutney.
Cranberry Apple Chutney
Cuisine: Asian / Indian
Travel to the northern parts of India and you’ll find many different chutney flavors to try. Many of them are savory, like mint pudina chutney and tomato chutney, but there are also sweet flavors, like tamarind chutney.
Condiment or side dish
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Fresh sweet apples, tart cranberries, ginger, spices and vinegar, cooked until thickened, then chilled for serving.
Of course, you can use cranberry apple chutney for dosa (Indian crepes) or idli, but it also makes a fantastic side dish or condiment with turkey, chicken, and even pork.
I also enjoy this to top cottage cheese with some nuts for breakfast!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Cranberries- The harvest season for cranberries in the States is early October, and they're typically available in the produce section through January.
If you can't find fresh cranberries, you can thaw a bag of frozen cranberries to use, but the texture and consistency of the chutney will be a bit different.
- Apples- Use a variety with sweet, firm flesh, like Fuji, Honey Crisp, or Gala.
- Vinegar- To add a similar flavor and more health benefits, use apple cider vinegar for your cranberry apple chutney. Otherwise, white distilled vinegar or white wine vinegar would work well.
- White sugar- Although I haven't tested this chutney recipe with a sugar substitute, I suspect that using any cup-for-cup sugar alternative like monk fruit or erythritol would work.
Depending on the tartness of the cranberries, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you use.
How to make cranberry apple chutney
If you've ever made fresh cranberry sauce, you'll have no problems making this cranberry chutney recipe, because the process is exactly the same!
- Peel, core, and chop the apples.
For a chunky style chutney, cut the apples into ½-inch pieces. Keep in mind that the fruit cooks down, so don't cut your apples too small, or you'll have nothing but mush after it cooks.
- Add ingredients to saucepan and bring to a simmer.
I usually add the sugar, spices, and liquids to the pan first. This way, they can whisked together before the apples and cranberries are added.
- Simmer until chutney thickens, about 10 minutes.
As the mixture cooks, you may hear a popping noise as the cranberries burst open. This is fine, but you may want to lower the heat a bit so that they don't all burst open. This ensures that some of the fruit remains chunky.
- Refrigerate chutney until you're ready to serve.
Homemade condiments like cranberry apple chutney do not have preservatives in them. Be sure to use it up within 10 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Although both condiments are made with fresh cranberries and the ingredients are cooked, there are some differences.
Typically, cranberry sauce is sweeter than chutney. Also, almost all chutneys include vinegar and spices, whereas cranberry sauce does not.
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Cranberry Apple Chutney
- 3 cups cranberries
- 1 Fuji apple diced (See Note 1)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Combine cranberries, apple, sugar, ginger, lemon juice, vinegar and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer and begins to breakdown and thicken, 10-12 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst, try to keep it a little chunky for a more rustic chutney.
- Let cool completely before storing.
- Other apple varieties that are on the sweet side are: Honeycrisp apples, Gala apples, and both Red and Golden Delicious apples.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
I love the addition of ginger paste in this chutney recipe. It's delicious without being overpowering. Definitely a great substitute for traditional cranberry sauce!