Sunday, November 20, 2011

Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Just in time for Thanksgiving Festivities!

Super Simple Cranberry Sauce - A perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal

You will need:
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
4 cups of fresh cranberries
Ground nutmeg (optional)
Ground cloves (optional)

Clean the cranberries and take out the not-so-fresh looking ones. Watch out for pale pink or green cranberries, those are not ripe and will be ultra-tart. In a large sauce pan, stir in the the sugar and water and bring it to a boil.  Once all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling, add the cranberries and return to a boil. Once it reaches boiling again, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. You will know they have simmered long enough when your crans begin to pop (again, you will actually hear the "popping").  At this point, Kim and I added some ground nutmeg and ground cloves. We didn't measure, we just taste tested the sauce until we were pleased. 

Remove mixture from heat, fill and process the jars. You will need to process quart jars for 20 minutes. 

If you want to enjoy the sauce immediately, other ingredients you might want to considering adding would be: crushed nuts, cinnamon, blue berries, raisins or currants! Cranberry sauce will last in the fridge for up to five days, so plan ahead and save yourself some time on Thanksgiving Day! 

This recipe will yield 2 quarts.

Again, I don't know where to give credit for this recipe. It is an easy one that has been passed down through the generations. It's a quick and easy recipe to make in advance and bring to any holiday gathering you attend. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cranberry - Apple Jam

You will need... 
8 cups of apples 
4 cups of cranberries (fresh, whole crans)
1 cup water
6 cups of sugar
2 lemons - squeeze the juice and zest the skin
Optional: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves or Allspice

Peel and dice the apples (dice apples about 1/2 inch or so). 

In a large pot combine the fresh, vibrant cranberries with sugar and the diced apples. 

Bring it to a boil. Cook for about 12 minutes or until the apples are soft and the cranberries have began to pop (you will hear a popping noise in case you have never cooked cranberries before ;-). At this point, add the lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and nutmeg (if you choose).   Simmer mixture until the sauce begins to thicken.
                                                                                            We used our new stainless steel funnels :)  * Recommended

Fill jars and process for 10 minutes.
This recipe yields about 5-6 jam jars. 

Kim and I had a lot of fun with this recipe. Neither of us had canned with cranberries before, but we wanted to try something new to us and use ingredients that were also in season (you know, being courageous canners and all...). We were both pleasantly surprised with the delicious flavor that we ended up with. We did not measure how much cinnamon & nutmeg we added... we just taste tested. We also considered adding cloves and/or allspice. I imagine those would be equally delightful additions to this recipe. 

Although I had intended to give this jam out as Christmas gifts, I have passed out several jars for loved ones to enjoy during the holiday season. The scent of the jam is reminiscent of Christmas. This is a perfect seasonal jam to enjoy through Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

This recipe comes from a dear friend in Montana. I am not sure where the recipe originated. This is not a Courageous Canners original.