Cranberry Persimmon Chutney
I recently took a short trip up to Solvang for the weekend and found it just lovely. They have an abundance of good food and wine for such a small town, and one of my favorite places was Succulent Cafe & Trading Company. We went there for dinner the first night and liked it so much we went back for bunch before we drove home. We also stocked up on some of their delicious preserves like Sauvignon Blanc Jelly, Dill Pickles, Santa Ynez Sage Honey, and the Cranberry Persimmon Chutney which inspired this recipe.
Their version is a little more rustic, with bigger chunks and whole pieces of herbs, but in playing around with the recipe I found that I prefer a smoother texture and just a touch more sweetness. I love to serve it on pork tenderloin, turkey or chicken. It is the perfect compliment to nearly any holiday dish!
Persimmons are a wonderful seasonal fruit which have a texture softer than an apple and a bit of spice. And cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Together with the lemon flavor, onion, spices and a bit of sugar, they make a rich combination of flavors that I find just lovely.
1 fuyu persimmon
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup yellow onion – chopped
1/2 cup water
zest & juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (or 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Remove the stem of the persimmon and the skin – I find the skin too thick so it ruins the texture for me if I leave it on. Chop the rest of the persimmon up, it may or may not have a few large seeds in it, so you can slice it in half, twist and remove the seeds before chopping the rest of the persimmon up into about 1/2 inch cubes. About half of the time I would say my persimmons have no seeds, but the rest of the time the seeds range from 1-5, this one had quite a few.
Also chop up your onion into small pieces and rinse the cranberries.
To zest the lemon you can either use a micro-plane zester or a fine shredder, or I like to simply peel the lemon and then roughly chop up the peel so there are still nice chunks in the finished chutney. Either way, only use the outer most layer of the lemon which is most flavorful and least bitter, so avoid the white pith further down. Also juice your lemon and strain out the seeds.
Combine all ingredients except for the brown sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked off and the mixture has thickened.
At this point I like to mash the mixture up so there aren’t big chunks. I do this with a standard hand masher like you would use to mash potatoes. This step is optional.
Then add the sugar and cook another minute or two to let it melt in.
I prefer to jar up right away and to let it cool down before serving so it is a thicker texture, but you could serve it warm as well.
Yields about 12 oz
This recipe is the first of four from Pivot Acupuncture & Herb’s December Food Demo, hosted by Jacqueline Gabardy, L.Ac – Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist. For more information on Pivot, please visit PivotPuncture.com