I did not however have the prunes, dried sour cherries or dates also required for the recipe. I decided that rather than go out and buy more ingredients I would use what I had and devise my own Christmassy chutney.
I made sure that I used the same amount of apples, onions, vinegar, sugar and spices that the original recipe called for and then I added up the total weight of the other fruit called for and made that up with my own selection of dried cranberries, frozen cranberries, sultanas and dried apricots.
It was a quick and easy chutney to make compared to my usual damson chutney which takes ages because of all the stones and the fact that I make such a large quantity which takes hours to cook.
Cranberry Christmas Chutney
Makes about 5 medium jars
300g fresh or frozen cranberries
200g dried cranberries
100g sultanas (or raisins)
175g dried apricots, chopped
3 finely chopped eating apples (I used cox's orange pippins and left the skins on)
2 finely chopped medium onions (about 270g in total)
475 ml cider vinegar (I had less cider vinegar than I thought so I topped it up with red wine vinegar)
500g light soft brown sugar
Half a teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of brandy (optional)
Mix everything except the brandy in a large pan (a preserving pan is ideal). Bring to a simmer.
The cranberries will float. Allow to simmer until thick and jammy enough for a channel to be made when you draw a spoon across the bottom of the pan as in the picture below. Don't let it get too dry though. This could take up to 2 hours, mine took about 1½ hours.
Take off the heat and stir in the brandy.
Pot into sterilised jars. I sterilise them by washing and putting them in a 100 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
I would like to tell you that this chutney is delicious with cold turkey and ham on Boxing Day, but I can't because it won't be ready to eat until Christmas. I can tell you though, that I am confident it will be delicious with cold turkey and ham on Boxing Day and beyond. I will let you know how it turns out in due course. I tasted a little and found it to be quite a sweet chutney, but chutneys are best left to mature for a couple of months so we shall see.