Dried Pear and Ginger Chutney


Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I love dried pears and crystallized ginger. But nothing can compare to what happens when you combine them in this sweet-hot chutney that I created as an accessory for grilled meat. And, as good as it is with grilled pork and game, it is killer spread on toast in the morning or served with cheese in the evening.

NotesGood for Slathering: pork chops, pork loin, fresh ham, game, sausages, chicken, game hen, quail

Eau de vie (translated as “water of life”) is the French name for a clear fruit brandy that is prepared with freshly harvested ripe fruit (e.g., pears, peaches, berries) that is crushed whole and fermented prior to distillation. Unlike the brandy from Cognac, eau de vie is not generally aged in wooden casks, which is the reason it remains colorless. The ripe fruit is fermented, distilled, and bottled quickly to preserve the freshness and aroma of the fruit.

Makes3 cups



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Taste and Texturefruity, sharp, spiced, sweet, tangy, tart

Type of DishCondiments, sauces


  • 1 pound dried pears, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound chunks crystallized ginger
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup spring or bottled water
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup pear eau de vie or pear juice (see Notes)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Mix the pears, ginger, and raisins in a medium, nonreactive, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover with the sugar, water, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, eau de vie, cinnamon stick, and salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

  2. Simmer slowly over medium heat to break down the dried fruit and ginger, stirring occasionally. Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture resembles a chunky jam. Check the seasonings and adjust if necessary with a squirt of fresh lemon juice and/or a pinch of salt. (It should be plenty sweet, but you don’t want it to be too sweet.)

  3. Remove from the heat and let cool before serving. Remove the cinnamon stick. The chutney will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for about 1 week.


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