Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney

Recipe Pin
2 hours 50 minutes
12 servings

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A fabulous accompaniment to the turkey and stuffing, Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney boasts fresh fruits, ginger, cinnamon, and star anise.

a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney

What Is The Difference Between Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Chutney, And Cranberry Relish?

Cranberry Sauce is a cooked sauce made with cranberries, sugar and water. Once cooked and removed from its heat source, it thickens and gels as it cools.

Cranberry Chutney is a savory and exotic compote which includes among its many ingredients, a vinegar, an onion, and several or many Indian and Asian aromatics such as cinnamon, star anise, ginger, and hot chili or hot red pepper. It is a luxury with cheese on the charcuterie board, and compliments many meats and poultry to include turkey.

Cranberry Relish is an uncooked compote comprised of MANY fruits and ingredients that are pulsed into small bits in a food processor. Relish may be either sweet or tart, and because it’s uncooked, has a fresh, bright burst of flavor. It compliments cold meats and carved meat platters very well.

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a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney is a standout among the sweet, savory, spicy sides you will serve on your holiday table this year.

Prepare to be WOWED! This chutney is make ahead (it gets better as it sits!) by a full five days, and can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Leftovers make a tasty encore appearance atop sliced pork tenderloin, grilled salmon, and sautéed chicken breasts. Recipes for cooking made easy!

Me & Chutney…

The first time I ever tasted chutney was in Flemington, New Jersey at the then Turntable Junction shopping complex. It was the 1980s, and I was Christmas shopping with my Mom and brother.

We stopped into a quaint little sandwich shop whose menu could best be described as American Colonial. Not unusual for my then neck of the woods.

I ordered a plate called The Door Stop, a thick hunk of sharp white Cheddar cheese atop a hearty whole grain bread with grainy mustard and chutney as its condiments. I recall the sandwich being placed before me and my mother reacting, a slight wince at the notion I was going to turn my nose to this most unusual assembly.

To her astonishment (and frankly my own), I ate the entire sandwich. AND I LOVED IT. Since then, cranberry apple onion chutney is pretty standard on my shopping list. But not too many weeks ago, I was browsing apple canning recipes, chutney chief among the highlights on the list.

I planned to stew some apples regardless, so adding the fresh cranberries was kind of an afterthought. This fresh apple cranberry chutney recipe is similar to most other chutneys with apple all but for my omitting golden raisins and using chopped and dried apricots in lieu.

Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney? Check The List!

apple cider vinegar
fresh apple cider or orange juice
crystallized ginger
stick cinnamon
whole star anise
crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
fresh pears or fresh apples
dried apricots
fresh or frozen cranberries
light brown sugar
orange marmalade

How This Recipe Came About…

A half unused bag of fresh cranberries is the sole reason this recipe emerged. I was NOT going to let them go to waste, but had to dream up something to do with them.

After rummaging through our pantry, I came up with a half a bag of dried apricots, and a bag of crystalized ginger. I knew these combined could be the start of something truly amazing.

a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

What Can You Do With Raw Cranberries?

Semi-Homemade Cranberry Orange Christmas Cake

Apple Cranberry & Cheddar Muffins

Cast Iron Cranberry Brown Sugar Cake

What Is Cranberry Apple Chutney?

Cranberry Apple Chutney is a marvelous and FRESH compote of fruit (fresh and dried), warm spices, hot chili, vinegar, and sugar. It’s tender, sometimes a bit crunchy, hot and sweet all at the same time.

It is an absolutely marvelous topping for grilled fish, especially salmon. It calls sharp Cheddar cheese its best friend because they compliment one another so well. And during the holidays, it’s as popular on the table as the cranberry sauce.

a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

How To Make Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney?

Every element in this compote is cooked in a saucepan together for just around one half hour or until the fruit is tender and the mixture has thickened slightly. Then, the saucepan is taken off-heat and the compote is covered and let to stand for two hours so the flavors can marry. That’s it.

Can I Substitute Fresh Ginger For The Crystallized Ginger?

Yes, but the flavor of fresh is way more intense than that of candied ginger. Because of this, I use less, and I also grate it using a zester or microplane.

I would add the fresh zested ginger a tablespoon at a time, stir and then taste for if it’s necessary to add more.

a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

If you had cheesecloth, tying a sachet of whole cloves and a few cardamom pods to cook in this chutney recipe would be very aromatic. The cloves and cardamom could be in lieu of or in addition to the cinnamon and star anise.

Also, I could see peaches or even quince used in this compote as well. The quince would soften but would still absolutely offer a bit of crunch. Golden raisins would make a fantastic edition, too.

a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

How Long Does Cranberry Apple Chutney Take To Make?

Set aside two hours and thirty minutes to cook the chutney. It may be served immediately, or placed into the refrigerator until ready to serve by up to five full days. The longer it sits, the better it gets.

How To Store Cranberry Apple Chutney?

I store this in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, or a plastic container with the same. Refrigerated, this fruit compote will retain its flavor and texture for five to seven days.

a white bowl with cranberry apple chutney

Can Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney Be Frozen?

Yes! And I love this about it, as freezing smaller portions in smaller containers allows me to pull individual servings out whenever I grill salmon or a pork loin and want to brighten it up with something entirely exotic and fresh tasting.

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Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney

Jenny DeRemer
A fabulous accompaniment to the turkey and stuffing, Autumn Cranberry Apple Chutney boasts fresh fruits, ginger, cinnamon, and star anise.
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Standing Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Indian
Servings 12 servings
Calories 169 kcal



  • ¾ cups apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple cider fresh; not apple juice; may substitute kombucha or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized candied ginger chopped fine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 medium apples peeled, cored, and chopped small
  • 1 cup dried apricots chopped small
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen; thawed and drained well if frozen
  • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar packed
  • cup orange marmalade


  • In a medium saucepan bring vinegar, cider, ginger, cinnamon stick, anise, crushed red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to boiling. Stir in chopped apples, chopped apricots, cranberries, light brown sugar, and marmalade. Cook and stir until bubbly. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 3o to 35 minutes or until fruit is tender and mixture thickens slightly.
  • Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 2 hours. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and anise. Serve at room temperature or cover and chill until ready to serve.


Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
To Store spoon into a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, or a plastic container with the same. Refrigerated, this fruit compote will retain its flavor and texture for five to seven days.
To Freeze spoon into a freezer safe container with a tight-fitting lid. Freeze for up to three months. To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 112mgPotassium: 223mgFiber: 2gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 431IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!
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5 from 1 vote

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Recipe Rating


  1. What I was looking for… except… can it be water-bath canned? I was really hoping when I read your lead-in about perusing canning recipes that it was going to be for canning. Truly, all I’m trying to do is get baked apples in canning jars because I totally expect that our power will go out during the overnight ice storm. Trying to find things that will store in my home-canned food closet cuz we were without power for 5 days about 2 years ago (and the indoor temp went below 32F! at least we could almost keep food cold without refrigeration just sitting on the kitchen counter!).

    1. Cmartcookie, YES! Yes it may be water-bathed and canned. I did this myself two years ago and it was flawless. My jars boiled 20 minutes for reference. Should you can this method, please reach back and let me in on your steps – I’m keen to add a caveat to this recipe for others who’d consider doing the same! Jenny

  2. I found you through Thursday’s Favorite Things. Your cranberry apple chutney looks delicious! Pinning!

    1. Thanks Leslie! If not for passing at the table as you would the cranberry sauce, then alongside cheese on the charcuterie board for sure! This chutney BEGS to be paired with sharp Cheddar! x – Jenny