Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cranberry Orange Jam

A few weeks ago, I was wandering through one of the last farmers markets of the year and came across a huge bin of fresh cranberries. They were so beautiful - bright and plump - that I couldn't help but bring some home. Which is funny, because the only thing I could think to make with them was cranberry sauce. I'm pretty sure the only person who will eat cranberry sauce in my family is my father. So I started brainstorming (ie doing internet searches) for other ideas and came across a few recipes for cranberry orange jam, or more like cranberry marmalade. Since being diagnosed with canning fever this summer, I jumped at the chance to put a cranberry concoction into little glass jars. The recipe below is what I cobbled together, and I think it's pretty tasty (although I think it serves as a better accompaniment to savory dishes, like maybe alongside a roast pork, than on toast or something sweet).

How do you like to use fresh cranberries?

Cranberry Orange Jam
8 cups (about 2 pounds) fresh cranberries
3-4 small, thin-skinned oranges (like clementines or tangerines)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup white wine (I used a Riesling, because it was what I had on hand, and it added some sweetness)

Wash and pick over berries, removing any that are soft. Dice whole oranges, removing any seeds - since the rind doesn't decrease in size as it cooks, make sure you cut it to the size you want in the final product. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking until cranberries pop open and mixture thickens, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick.

While jam cooks, fill the largest pot you have with water and place some sort of rack on the bottom (I use a lobster pot that comes with a fitted strainer, so I just use that strainer). You don't want the jars to touch the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Place clean glass jars in the water and boil for at least 10 minutes to sterilize. Water should come to an inch or two above the tops of the jars. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's instructions.

Remove jars from water when the jam is done. Fill jars with jam, leaving 1/4 inch headroom on top. Wipe the rims of the jar so they're clean and place on the lids on the jars.

Place the jars back in the boiling water, put the cover on the pot, and process for 10 minutes (start timing when the water returns to a boil if it has become cooler). Carefully remove the jars from the pot and place on a kitchen towel to cool. You will hear the jars seal shut as they cool.


Anonymous said...

I admit, I jam my cranberries, too - sometimes just the puree, sometimes with wine. My last experiment: cranberries pureed, the juice of blood oranges, brown sugar and ginger - and I think it's made the transition to a 'sweet.' I've used it to fill phyllo tarts (with a custard base) and to decorate thumbprint cookies, and to top vanilla ice cream. Not sure if it was the blood oranges that did the trick, or the brown sugar, but it's definitely now a sweet OR savory accompaniment!

Ozoz said...

Cranberry sauce...this year I'll be poaching pears in red wine, all spiced up and then chopping up the pears, adding cranberries and letting the sweet syrup balance the tartness of the berries..with some pear chunks for size. I'm also considering adding toasted pecans but...scared it might all go wrong. kitchenbutterfly.com