Cranberry, Ginger, & Pear Chutney

While Clair was searching for her favorite cranberry relish recipe, she also found this one to pass along.

Cranberry, Ginger, and Pear Chutney

1  1/4 c.  light brown sugar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar (other types of vinegar will give this chutney different flavors. It would be worth experimenting with)
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 t. salt
2 pounds firm pears, peeled, cored and and diced
3/4 pound fresh cranberries (about 3 1/2 cups)

Combine the sugar, vinegar, ginger, cayenne and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil on a medium burner. Add the pears, cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Strain the pears. Put the liquid back into the pan and the pears into a separate bowl.
Put the cranberries into the liquid in the pan. Cook, covered, on medium burner about 3 or 4 minutes or until the berries just begin to pop, about 3 minutes. Strain the berries out of the liquid. Add them to the pears. Yet again, put the liquid back into the pan.  Boil this  remaining liquid on a medium high burner until it’s reduced to about 1/2 c. Stir this into the cranberry/pear mixture and cool completely.

You can serve this at room temperature or thoroughly chilled. You can make this chutney up to three days ahead of time. The flavors intensify as they sit and mingle, so making it ahead can have its advantages.