Kumquat and Dried Cherry Chutney
My Kumquat and Dried Cherry Chutney is an elegantly delicious accompaniment for your Thanksgiving dinner. Serve it in addition to the traditional cranberry sauce.
One of the things I like most about Thanksgiving are all the little “extras” that make it special. Special toppings for the pies, garnishes for the platters, and relishes to go complement with the turkey.
Of course, everyone is familiar with the traditional Cranberry and Orange Relish, but this one is a bit more unusual. It uses kumquats and dried cherries along with anise seed and other fragrant spices to make an excellent chutney to adorn your table.
Kumquats will always seem a little exotic to me. Not quite an orange nor a tangerine. Not a lemon either. I remember having them in our house around Christmas when I was growing up and we usually ate them out of hand, skin and all. The Kumquat Growers Association calls them “nature’s sweet-tart.” Pretty apt description.
This kumquat and dried cherry chutney is perfect for a southern Thanksgiving menu. Southerners have a long history with chutneys and relishes. Probably because of the old spice trade with the Charleston and Savannah ports.
Granted, this chutney lacks some of the classic ingredients such as raisins and onions. It has sweet and citrusy flavor with a perfect background note of licorice from the anise seed. I think you’ll really like it!
How to Make Kumquat Dried Cherry Chutney
Beautiful, fresh kumquats. Just waiting to be made into a delicious chutney.
Prepare the kumquats by giving them a rinse and then slicing them into disks. Remove the tiny seeds with the tip of a knife. Granted, this is a bit tedious, but just take your time and you’ll have it finished before you know it.
In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast mustard seeds and anise seed. Gently shake the pan back and forth until seeds are aromatic and lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
Transfer the seeds to a heavy, small saucepan and add the remaining ingredients of sliced kumquats, sugar, orange juice, dried cherries, ginger, black pepper and cinnamon.
Bring the mixture to a boil stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chutney thickens and the kumquats become translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool before serving. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I’d LOVE to know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked it!
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Kumquat and Dried Cherry Chutney
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon anise seed
- 1 pint kumquats sliced and de-seeded
- 1 cup plus 2 tblsp sugar
- 1 ¼ cups orange juice
- 1 cup dried cherries
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast mustard seeds and anise seed. Gently shake the pan back and forth until seeds are aromatic and lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer seeds to a heavy, small saucepan with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil stirring often.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chutney thickens and the kumquats become translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and let cool before serving.
- Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
I don’t usually like chutney but this is a really lovely fruity chutney and very different to any others, I had it with a Feta cheese salad and my husband loved it too.
Thank you, Jan. I usually make it around the winter holidays and we enjoy it with all sorts of different recipes.
Aloha, Lana! A couple of months late, I finally got enough kumquats off the tree to make the chutney. My cherries were much darker and harder in texture than the usual bagged dried cherries (needed to cook longer and slower), and my tangerine tree gave up juice for the pot. It turned out quite dark in color, with the cherries maintaining a lot of their texture. Very unusual taste…I keep taste testing it! For next time, I plan to chop the cherries a little or use regular commercial dried ones. Otherwise, a winner!
Since I had Thanksgiving dinner at your house, I can vouch for the kumquat & cherry chutney. It is delicious. I’m going to make some for Christmas dinner.
Thanks, Neena! I thought it was very good. A nice change from the usual cranberry sauce.
Kumquat sounds like a natural to pair with cranberries. I like a chutney that is a little different. I just posted one but I’m never sure that everyone will like it. Thats when it’s nice to have a more traditional option. They both sound wonderful!
This is probably the most unusual and original cranberry sauce/chutney I have seen so far. Fantastic combination of flavors!
Thanks, Dara. The kumquat-cherry chutney is a little different, but so good. The cranberry-orange is great as well but more traditional. Either go well not only with turkey but with a roast chicken or pork loin.
Such beautiful looking chutney and relish! I love the use of kumquats. They are so tasty!
Thanks! I love those little sweet-tart kumquats, too. It’s a nice change from the traditional cranberry sauce.
These look awesome and are definitely going on my list for Thanksgivings in the future!
Great looking relishes. I just made my first ever cranberry relish today. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to think outside the can!
Lana, I just *knew* you’d have the perfect cranberry sauce recipe for us — thank you so much! This is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t have access to kumquats anymore, so I won’t be making the chutney, but the cranberry sauce is of course required.
Now … I don’t suppose you have a recipe for oyster dressing, do you? Wouldn’t that be a “southern thang?” All I know about it is that it has oysters and is made with bread, not cornbread. (The person requesting the oyster dressing is adamant that there is NO cornbread or cornmeal in the dressing. Seems sacriligious to me, but what do I know?)
Thanks as always for your wonderful recipes and photographs!
Hi Peg! I hope you like that cranberry sauce. It’s my favorite. Now about the oyster dressing. I don’t have a recipe because that’s never been the tradition in my family, but I’ve had oyster dressing many times and it has always had a cornbread base. Oyster dressing is very popular in the coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana. They basically just prepare a cornbread dressing like the one I posted recently and add oysters to it. The oyster dressing your friend is referring to that is made with bread is more of a New England style.
Paula Deen has a recipe for southern oyster dressing if you’re interested. You could also just Google for “oyster dressing” to find something like your friend is asking for.
Love this recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!
Nice, Lana! Every year I make a similar fresh cranberry/orange relish for Thanksgiving, and it’s my favorite part of the meal. But your chutney is totally new to me and is a keeper. Here in FL we have kumquats coming out our ears, so to speak, and virtually all of my neighbors have trees with fruit looking for a good use. Thanks so much for sharing this excellent recipe.