This is the new and improved version of my pomegranate chutney recipe, which was adapted from my godmother Tona’s fabulous peach chutney recipe. I made this particular dish for Thanksgiving – it goes really well with turkey or any poultry, and it’s a great substitute for the traditional cranberry sauce. I am a bit of a chutney fiend, and I think pomegranates are probably the fruit that tempted Adam and Eve, so it’s easy to understand why this is one of my very favorite recipes.
A tip for pomegranate seed removal: in Morocco I learned the best way to remove the seeds from a pomegranate is to do it underwater. First, fill up a large pot or mixing bowl with water; next, cut the crown off the top of the pomegranate, slicing horizontally through the fruit (there should be a layer or two of seeds in the small part you remove) and place it in the water. Next, quarter the remaining section and place the pieces in the water. Let it sit for a few minutes, then remove the seeds with the fruit submerged. It’ll be easier to work them loose, the juice won’t stain your hands, and best of all, the seeds sink to the bottom while everything else floats to the top. Skim off the parts you don’t want, strain and rinse the seeds, and voila! Instant pomegranate deliciousness.
Getting down to business, though…for the chutney you’ll need:
Seeds from 2 regular sized pomegranate or 1 very large pomegranate
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (if this is confusing, think about a thumb-sized piece of ginger)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Half of a small red onion, chopped very finely
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 ounce fruit pectin (I find this is usually half of a standard sized packet)
Place the vinegar, lemon juice, cranberries, onion, ginger, spices, honey, and pomegranate seeds in a large pan. Measure 1 1/2 cups of sugar and set it aside.
Next, pour the pectin into the pan, stir everything together, and place on high heat.
As soon as the liquid reaches a boil, add all the sugar, all at once, and stir continually at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and continue stirring for 5-10 more minutes.
Let cool and refrigerate.
A few serving suggestions…goes well with fish or poultry; spread it on toast as a punchier alternative to jam; spread on ginger snaps with cream cheese (full credit to my mom for that idea); pair it with turkey and gruyere on a sandwich.