Cranberry-Pear Chutney

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Fruit chutney flavored with aromatic spices pairs well with almost any type of cheese, young or aged. Both cow’s milk and aged sheep’s milk cheeses are good choices, but this tangy chutney is also superb served slathered atop fresh ricotta or soft goat cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) minced white onion
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) apple cider
  • ¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely grated orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick, inches (4 cm) long
  • 6 whole cloves
  • cups (9 oz/280 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 bag (12 oz/375 g) fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Bosc or other firm but ripe pears, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes

Method

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the onion, apple cider, orange juice, cider vinegar, juniper berries, lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to cups (12 fl oz/375 ml), 10–15 minutes.

Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and pears and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended, 20–30 minutes. The fruit will be quite soft.

Pour the chutney into a jar or bowl and stir with a fork, crushing some, but not all, of the fruit. Let cool completely before serving. The chutney can be tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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