Cranberry Chutney over Soft Cheese, with Spicy Gingersnaps
We made this in a cooking class this month, and not surprisingly, it was a huge hit! I had introduced it in classes years ago, and one student balked at how weird it was … until she tasted it.
It’s the perfect holiday sensation. Shop a fine cheese counter for a young, soft cheese or, simply use a softened block of cream cheese – entirely OK. The combination of sweet, salty, spices, and cookie crunch makes taste buds feel like dancing!
It’s super easy, and you can even serve it with purchased gingersnaps if you prefer. My own recipe never, ever disappoints, and it makes so many you’ll have more to enjoy long after this appetizer is history, just sayin’.
Make this year-round with seasonal fruits like mango, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, apples, pears … any fruit will be sublime with the cheese! Finely dice the fruit, and use 2-3 cups. You won’t need to cook other fruits to begin, as you do the cranberries here.
1-lb. piece fine soft cheese (i.e., Brie, Camembert, Taleggio, even soft goat or fine Feta), room temperature
Spicy Gingersnaps (fantastic homemade recipe is here)
Set these aside until chutney is ready. For Chutney:
2 cups fresh cranberries, cooked in 1/3 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp water, until soft
¾ cup chopped dried apricots or mix dried apricots/dried cranberries
1 medium Fuji or other favorite apple, cored, seeded, peeled, diced
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat. Once heated through, lower heat to a low setting/flame. Stirring occasionally, cook until soft and slightly sticky, about 33 minutes.
In center of serving dish, place cheese. Pour warm chutney evenly over cheese. Spread chutney and cheese over gingersnaps to serve.
Yields about 12-16 appetizer servings.