Cranberry sauce is the hardest Thanksgiving item to de-sugar-ify. Unsweetened cranberries are so unpleasantly tart that you really need an awful lot of sweetener to balance it out. I previously posted a recipe for sugar-free cranberry-grapefruit sauce, but it has 3/4 cup artificial sweetener, and thus I wanted a different option.
First and foremost, I wanted to reduce the amount of overall sweetener for a relish that is naturally tart with just enough extra sweetness. I thought it made sense to go the savory route and make a spicy chutney with onions. That way, it seems more intentional that it is tart. If it was just a fruity side dish, I think that people would be unpleasantly surprised when biting in. This isn't a traditional dessert-like cranberry sauce, but instead provides a nice foil to roasted turkey or ham. I served it with pork chops that I grilled with Penzeys Singapore seasoning for a quick weeknight supper.
The onion and apple provide a nice base of natural sweetness, but I did end up adding a bit of extra sweetener. It tastes even better the next day.
CRANBERRY, APPLE, AND ONION CHUTNEY
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 apple (I used Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, and cut into chunky dice
- 12 oz bag fresh raw cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
- Juice and zest from 1 orange
- 2 Tbs fresh grated ginger or 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Sweetener of choice to equal 1-2 Tbs sugar or to taste (I used the stevia equivalent of 2 Tbs but I think I could have gotten away with less)
- Saute the onion in a bit of oil until translucent and just starting to brown.
- Add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have all popped and the whole sauce is magenta.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. You can serve right away at room temperature, but it is better when it sits for a day.