Make-Ahead Cranberry-Fig Chutney

Make this tangy-sweet chutney, then freeze it for your next family holiday. Let it thaw the night before the feast, and microwave it quickly before serving just to take the chill off. For an easy variation, use dried plums, dates or apricots instead of figs.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: about 3 cups (6 to 8 servings)
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One 12-ounce bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

One 4-inch strip orange zest

1 stick cinnamon

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dried figs, quartered

1/2 cup golden raisins


  1. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cranberries. Bring the remaining cranberries, sugar, vinegar, orange zest, cinnamon stick, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries soften, about 3 minutes. Add the figs and raisins, raise the heat to bring the mixture to a high simmer, then cook until the cranberries burst and the chutney is saucy and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the reserved 1/2 cup cranberries.
  2. Let the chutney cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, label and date, and freeze for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Let the chutney thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to serve it. To serve, heat it in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments until the chill is gone. If the chutney is too thick, thin it out with a few tablespoons of water.

Cook’s Note

Instead of freezing the chutney, you can serve it warm right away or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, then microwave to take the chill off.

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