Friday, November 23, 2012

Whole Cranberry Conserve

In the New England section, as one would expect, there are no fewer than three cranberry  sauce-ish recipes. Conserve is technically an old fashioned word for what we would call jam. So this cranberry concoction is a little stiffer than cranberry sauce.
Now, in my house, the occupants or former occupants, have grown past the idea that cranberries have to come in a certain form and any other form is unacceptable. So basically, nobody noticed. Mind  you, there was a time when I bought cranberry jelly for one member of the household, and  made cranberry sauce for the rest of us.  So, if  you are considering this recipe for Thanksgiving, consider your audience.
The recipe says to use a darning needle and pierce each  cranberry.  As old fashioned as I am in many ways, I do not have a darning needle, and never did. So, I rummaged around in the drawer that contains cooking implements and odd junk, and found these mini skewers, that were excellent for piercing the cranberries.  Don't get hung  up on the darning needle.  The picture at left should  be helpful in showing you what the recipe is talking about.
I  sat and pierced for about ten minutes  until I had two cups of cranberries. (  I made half the recipe.)  Bob asked me why the cranberries had to be pierced. My answer, one I concocted long ago when playing  adventure computer games where the player had to actually type in the directions was, "because directions say so." He thought about it for a second and said, "oh, so they don't explode."
This conserve/jam takes about thirty minutes and seems somewhat more tart than the canned stuff, which is probably a good thing for most of us.

Whole Cranberry Conserve

4 cups cranberries                                             
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
juice of one lemon
grated rind of one orange

1. Use a darning needle and run it through each cranberry, piercing the stem end first. (The stem end has a little tiny circle.)
2. Combine the water and sugar and simmer ten minutes to make syrup. Add cranberries, the lemon juice and orange rind and cook over high heat twenty minutes or  until syrup thickens and sheets from spoon in two streams. These are canning directions if you want to make this as jam.  Pour into hot sterilized jars.
  Pour in two thin layers of melted paraffin over. Cool , cover and store in a cool, dark, dry place.  
Makes  four to five eight ounce jars.                         


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