One of the recipes in my cookbook The Little Prairie Book of Berries is a chokecherry chutney. Chokecherries are typically harvested in late summer or early autumn in southern Alberta, so chances are you’ve already tucked a few cups of chokecherry juice into the freezer for … just this very thing. Canadian Thanksgiving is on Monday and you can whip this up in nearly the same amount of time you can make cranberry sauce. Plus, you can use apples from your garden and make this a real harvest side-dish. One of the most lovely things about this recipe is that you can tweak it the way you want to – I have nut allergies so you’ll note that the version in the cookbook has no nuts. Here I’ve given you the option to add chopped almonds – or, even better – the beaked hazelnuts you might be growing in your garden. And there is one other surprise ingredient I’ve thrown in here as well. Add and subtract, have some fun with this – and let me know how your version turns out.
1/2 cup chokecherry juice
2 medium apples, cored and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds or beaked hazelnuts
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan.
Place the pan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes, until the apples have softened and the mixture has thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the chutney cool to room temperature. Transfer the chutney to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours, then serve. Yield: approximately 2 cups.
And…if you want to find the original recipe for Chokecherry Chutney and more sweet and savoury recipes using chokecherries, sea buckthorn berries, saskatoons, currants, sour cherries, and haskap, grab this little tome.