Holiday Gift Idea – Cranberry Orange Sauce

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Holiday Cranberry Sauce

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Copyright 2015 by Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved.

Cranberries make a great winter sauce for meats and cheeses. Heated and served over warm Brie, oh yum! Mix with other fruits and reduce the sugar content by 75%. Fuji’s, McIntosh, and Gala are the apples to choose for obtaining the most sweetness. If you are lucky enough to have access to ripe sweet Fuyu persimmons, all the better, I use apples and persimmons interchangeably with this sauce. Oranges or mandarins also help out with sweetness plus add great flavor to the sour cranberries. Make up a batch for Thanksgiving and freeze/can the rest for Christmas or to use throughout winter. If you have a big enough pot, double or triple the recipe and can for Christmas gifts. Canning instructions provided at the end.

Tip: Unless you have larger shallow pots, it is faster to make 2 smaller batches than to double up on a recipe. Evaporation is your friend when making relishes, sauces, and jams. The more fruit you use, the greater the cook time to evaporate the water in the juices, and you will achieve a better flavor with a shorter cook time. This recipe is easily doubled in a 6 quart pot.

Tools:

Servings:  About 2 pints

Ingredients:

I bag fresh cranberries (12 oz)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (optional)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup sweet orange or mandarin juice

1 TBS coarsely grated mandarin or orange rind

3 apples or persimmons cubed

4 mandarins peeled and coarsely chopped (or substitute 2 large oranges)

1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar (or honey) to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a stainless steel 4-5 quart pot. A wide, shallow pot will allow quicker evaporation, which is helpful in jam making. Bring to boil and turn down to low. Simmer, stirring often to avoid burning on the bottom until the cranberries skins pop and liquid has thickened.

You may keep cooking at this point to achieve a more jam like texture or remove from heat and cool to room temperature for a chunkier texture. Keep refrigerated or hot pack into sterilized canning jars.

Variations:

Fruit of one pomegranate.

Sweet cherries – 1 cup dried or 6 oz frozen.

Fresh ginger really adds a great flavor!

Hot Pack (without water bath) Canning instructions:

I find it easier to wash and sterilize the lids and jars in the dishwasher, but you may also sterilize jars in boiling water. DO NOT BOIL your lids. If not using a dishwasher, wash the jars, lids and bands and all of your tools in hot, soapy water and let air dry on a clean towel or drainer. Sterilize your jars by placing them in the hot water for 10 minutes above 185° F. Leave your jars in the warm dishwasher or hot water until you are ready to fill them so they remain sterile and hot. If using hot water, you will need to purchase a jar lifter in advance.

Ladle hot sauce into the jar leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top.

With a clean butter knife, gently stir sauce in jar to release air bubbles.

Remove any dripped sauce from rim and wipe clean with a damp paper towel.

Place lids on jars and screw on until you feel resistance – finger tip tight.

Let filled jars cool and let rest for 6 hours. Lids will invert and seal as they cool. When you press in the middle, the top won’t spring back, that is how you know a proper vacuum seal was made.

Check the seals on the lids and store in a dark cool place for up to six months. If you don’t have a cold area to store, keep in a refrigerator.

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