Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rejoice! Cranberries!

I promised a post about cranberry jam, jelly and sauce ages ago, like about when Christmas ended. And, being slow as I am, of course I still haven’t posted anything. Until now! Because now, finally, you are reading the post about cranberries! For the christmas dinner I made cranberry sauce, which is really just a thinner sort of jam and lasts less long. Jam is, well, just jam with pieces of cranberry in it. Jelly is verry jelly-like in a sort of way that it doesn’t have any bits or pieces in it. I promised all the recipes, so here are all of m!

Cranberry Sauce
3 mandarins/clementines
250 gram Cranberries
100 gram sugar

1. Zest the oranges and squeeze the juice out. Add both into a small pan.
2. Add the cranberries and the sugar and heat it over a fire.
3. Keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, bring to boil then lower the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir every few minutes. The cranberries should start popping and falling apart then.
4. Add more sugar if you feel the sauce is not sweet enough. Add more water/orangejuice if you feel the sauce is too sweet or too thick. You can also add spices or alcohol at this point. Done!

Admittedly I lost the recipe I used. I believe I took it off a site and just never saved it or so. But I remember using mandarins and I’m pretty sure I used nothing else. I’m also fairly positive I got the other ingredients right (I checked with other recipes), so you shouldn’t go wrong with it! I don’t think I made any wonderful pictures of it, but I remember it being delicious! I tried it on about everything I had and even used it days later on bread with brie! I must’ve added way more sugar than it called for, since it lasted so very long. That is, until I ate it all. I doubt it lasted a week overall.


Cranberry Jelly and Cranberry Jam
450 gram cranberries
225 gram sweet apples
1/2 orange
30 ml water
500 gram (gelling/jam) sugar

1. Zest the orange and squeeze the juice out into a pan. Cut the apple with peel into pieces.
2. Put the cranberries, apple, orange zest and juice and water into the pan. Put the pan over a fire and bring to boil. Keep stirring and lower the fire. Leave the fruit to simmer and boil for about 20-30 minutes. You’ll notice the mixture is ready when the apples are unrecognizable and the cranberries are split and fell apart.
3. When the mixture looks a bit like jam, turn the fire off and leave it to cool.
4. Once the fruit is slightly cooler push it through a strainer (sieve or sifter, I don’t know what it’s called!). This will seperate the juice (for the jelly) from the thicker mixture (for the jam). Put both into seperate pans.
5. Add half of the sugar into each pan and heat them both up while you stir to dissolve the sugar. (If you’re a very thorough strainer you might want to add some water or orange juice to the thick jam-mixture. You can always add more sugar to either.)
6. When the sugar is dissolved and the jam and jelly start boiling, leave to boil for about 5-10 minutes.
7. Turn the fire off and scrape off any foam from the jam and jelly. Poor both into jars and seal them. Voilà!

A note for the jelly mixture in particular: you can poor the juice into a measuring cup, once you know the amount of liquid you have, you will be able to read the amount of sugar needed on the package of the sugar. This might be more accurate.
On another note, appearantly spices or some strong alcohol (think vodka, brandy, port) tastes really nice. You can add these at the start or when you add the sugar.
Last note: it’s delicious! I think I managed a bit over one jar for the jam and one for the jelly in the end. I kept both opened in the fridge and unfortunately they didn’t last very long. The jam was gone in no time, but as I don’t actually eat jam or jelly very often and none of us do, the jelly stood there for about 2 months till I decided I should throw it away. I believe I didn’t use any gelling/jam sugar, which might also explain why it didn’t last extremely long. I should do this a bit better next time. Also, I decided jelly isn’t my thing. It might be really nice for on cakes, but when you just want something on bread, it needs to have some real hardcore fruits in it!

The last recipe comes from a new cooking book I have called “Preserving”. It has loads of techniques and recipes in it from jams, jellies, relishes and chutneys to pickling, sirups, pastes, marmelade and even tomato ketchup! I didn’t have anything like that yet. I used a recipe called ‘Lemon paste’ for my Lemon & cream filled cake, but I think when I post it I’m going to call it jam, or jelly, perhaps even sauce would do. Just not feeling the paste, you know?

Half jam, half jelly on one of my sisters home-made wafers. Real dutch wafers that is! Perhaps she'll be so kind to post some time.

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