Its starting to feel a lot like Christmas....with the delicious smell of oranges and cooking cranberries. In both 2013 and 2014, I made relishes with a twist, and in contrast this year I am making a different type of preserve with a couple of 200g baskets of cranberries.
I gathered from Penny that she preferred a more sweeter cranberry accompaniment, so I hope she likes this one. I love to make sufficient to give away two or three jars to friends. After all a present that does not hang around for months on end, can be shared and enjoyed by many, and if not liked...well there is the bin!
Not that I cannot think of various ways to adding it to other dishes to pep them up. Since this one has neither salt, pepper nor vinegar, I can just imagine it as a sophisticated base layer with bread and butter pudding on top, or layered with more apple for a Christmassy Crumble for those that do not like mincemeat!
Zest and Juice from a plump Orange, preferably organic and waxless
1 Large Cooking Apple, chopped, or 250g eating apple grated
1Tbsp soft rosemary chopped very small
1 Tbsp juniper berries bruised
The Melting Pot
Grate or zest the orange straight into the pan you will use, to catch all that flavorsome orange oil.
Dissolve the sugar and orange juice in the pan over a low heat together with the finely chopped rosemary, and crushed juniper berries. The juniper berries add a wonderful flavour, and the preserve will continue to imbibe their flavour. So if you don't like this, omit completely, or remove before potting up.
If using the cooking apple toss it in the juice, then decant the fruit and a little of the juice to another pan, and cook until soft and fluffy. This takes only three or four minutes over a low to medium heat, if using , remove from the heat.
Meantime add the washed and sorted cranberries, and grated eating apple if using that, to the sugar and orange mixture, and cook over a gentle heat, until the cranberries are popping and becoming pulpy. Stir from time to time over the heat, and to make sure that there is no sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Have some pretty containers to hand, having of course washed them well and sterilised them in the oven, and when filling, make sure to use a small spoon to dispel and air pockets which may have become trapped. Once potted up, if covered immediately, the jars should store for a month or two. If in a dish, cover with some clingfilm, and keep in the fridge. Once opened I would recommend keeping in the fridge and using up within two or three weeks.
This accompaniment goes beautifully with hot and cold meats, whether it be game, fowl, ham, pork, or beef..and certainly with cheese and crackers. I love it with cold meats in sandwiches....