Prepare fruits. In a large heavy saucepan, combine pears, cranberries, brown sugar, raisins, vinegar, and salt.
Tie allspice, cloves, and pickling spices in a square of cheesecloth and tie securely with kitchen twine. Add to fruit mixture.
Quickly bring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce temperature to moderate and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes. Remove spice bag and allow chutney to cool.
Ladle mixture into a clean 1-quart glass jar. Refrigerate cooled prepared chutney for up to 2 to 3 weeks, if desired.
Note: Increase seasonings to taste, if desired.
Variations: Use mangos in place of pears. Or, use 1 pear and 1 mango in the chutney.
Add dried hot pepper flakes to taste to spice mixture in spice bag.
Spoon the chutney over cream cheese and serve with crisp water crackers as an hors d'oeuvre.
Bake a small "wheel" of brie or camembert cheese wrapped in 6 sheets of buttered phyllo/filo dough in a moderate oven (375 degrees F. for ? minutes. Spoon chutney over hot baked pastry-coated cheese and serve with crisp water crackers as a hors d'oeuvre.
Variations continued: Cut thin 4-inch diameter slices of smoked provolone cheese in half. May top each half slice of cheese with a slice of proscuitto, if desired. May add a very small cube of fresh pineapple to each. Spoon a small amount of chutney into the center of each cheese or prosciutto/cheese half slice. Roll-up each jelly-roll-style and secure each with a small wooden pick. Serve as a hors d'oeuvre.
Add some chopped pecans or English walnuts or sliced or slivered blanched almonds to the chutney just before serving.
Spoon the hot cooked chutney into canning jars; secure lids and screw caps and process in a Boiling-Water Bath. May store cool sealed jars of chutney in a cool dry area for several months. Cranberry pear chutney is a nice edible gift to give during the holidays.
Processing is the name given to cooking covered jars in a covered bath of boiling water, with water completely covering the jars. Adjust jar covers as manufacturer suggests and place filled jars on a rack in a kettle or large heavy pot containing boiling water to a depth of one or two inches over the tops of glass jars (do not pour boiling water directly over tops of glass jars).
Cover the kettle/pot and begin to count processing time specified in a recipe. Add additional boiling water, if necessary, to keep jars covered. Remove jars immediately when processing time is over, tighten seals if necessary, and set upright on a wire rack, a few inches apart, to cool.
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