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Cranberry Raisin Chutney

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:20pm

One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories is of a time when I was home from college for the holiday, and my mother and I decided to make a cashew cream soup for the feast... All went well until we poured the soup into food processor to puree - and forgot to leave the lid cracked to release the steam... The built up steam cracked the lid and blew it clear off the processor, showering the ceiling with a fountain of cashew soup!

This year's Thanksgiving may have passed, but I still vote for cranberry sauce as an all holiday, all winter dish... Another one of my favorite, and likely my earliest and longest standing Thanksgiving memories is of watching the saucepan full of hard, bright crimson, tart berries mysteriously pop, bubble, and turn into a sweet, even brighter red confection... Every year my child's eyes would watch the boiling sauce, each year convinced that those berries could surely not manage the transformation yet again, but with all the allure of a spell-caster's cauldron the saucepan would work its magic once more.

My family always made a very traditional, simple whole berry sauce: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar (I use raw sugar or date sugar now), and 12 oz of cranberries. This year, though, I wanted to fix two cranberry sauces - the family standby, for tradition's sake, and also another, tarter, relish-style dish, in hopes of converting Zach to a cranberry sauce fan...

Mission accomplished. Simmering raisins and cranberries in a cinnamon-laced white wine reduction produced a very grown up, very chic chutney... (and yes, whether simmering in sugar syrup or wine, the cranberries still held a child's magic...)

Cranberry Raisin Chutney with White Wine Reduction

1 cup white wine
1 cup yellow raisins
12 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup raw sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

~ In a medium saucepan, bring the white wine to a boil.
~ Reduce the heat to medium, add the raisins, and simmer for 3 minutes.
~ Add the cranberries, water, sugar, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil while stirring.
~ Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer just until the sauce thickens and the berries pop, stirring frequently.
~ Transfer the mixture to a bowl, chill, and serve cold...
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