It’s time again for the Secret Recipe Club where each member is assigned another blog to peruse and choose a recipe to make for the reveal date. No one knows who has his or her blog until the reveal day. It’s an exciting way to meet other food bloggers and try new recipes. This month, I was assigned to Heather’s blog-Join us-pull up your chair, a very well-written site with an assortment of sweet and savory. What would I choose amongst all these tasty posts? After much deliberation, I chose the Cranberry Chutney as there are still fresh ones in the grocery store and the chutney is delicious served with any meat or as a spread for sandwiches and breads. Heather began writing her blog as a way to keep up with her growing collection of recipes. She’s excited about having her daughter help her in the kitchen as she helped her mother when she was growing up.
Fresh cranberries, fresh pears, dried blueberries and crystallized ginger make up this sweet, tart and slightly savory chutney that would be delicious as a spread for your turkey sandwiches this holiday season. The flavors of the chutney go well with these apple cheddar scones, but could be used as a sauce for pork or chicken. I changed Heather’s recipe somewhat, halved the proportions and did not process in a canner. I was sure the chutney would last covered and refrigerated for several weeks if I had any left.
4 cups fresh cranberries, washed and drained
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup peeled, cored and diced pears
2 tablespoons finely minced onion
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup small dice crystallized ginger
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients with the exception of the crystallized ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cook until thickened, about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add crystallized ginger. Cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep about two weeks refrigerated. Makes about three cups.
Apple Cheddar Scones
(Baking From My Home to Yours)
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1/4 cup cold apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced dried apples
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Stir the egg, buttermilk and apple cider together.
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between – and that’s just right.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be very wet and sticky, comes together. If there are still some dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl, stir them in, but try not to overdo the mixing. Stir in the grated cheese and dried apple.
Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. Then, because the dough is very sticky, the easiest thing to do is to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, pat it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and, using a dough scraper or a chef’s knife, cut it into 12 roughly equal pieces; place on the baking sheet. Alternatively, you can just spoon out 12 equal mounds onto the baking sheet. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the backing sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don’t defrost before baking – just add about 2 minutes to the baking time.)
Bake the scones for 20 to 22 minutes, or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer them to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperature.
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