February is a month when I least think of preserving. Nevertheless, I made some cranberry preserve that lasted not longer than a week (can you even call it a preserve if it didn't have any time to actually go through all the stages to be a mature preserve?!)
A week ago, while I was doing my monthly shopping, I got stalked by bags of cranberries. Yes, those bags kept looking at me when I added to my basket carrots, leeks, beets, cabbages, onions, greens.
Each time I put something in the basket, cranberries would appear either before my eyes or in the corner of my eyes.
When I reached for turnips, my hand somehow piked a bag of cranberries instead.
"Oh, well, if you insist I might do something with you", was my thought, and I added another bag of cranberries to the basket.
"Cranberries make a good winter drink, quick and easy, yet loaded with nutrients. It will make the teenager happy and help him fight his after practice thirst", I convinced myself.
I came home, washed the cranberries and set it aside, still deciding what to do with it. I rotated produce in my refrigerator (something I forced myself to do a few years back, and now doing it on autopilot: saves a lot of food, not to mention money), and found a lone quince. As soon as I looked at it, I smiled and my eyes lit with this spark of adventure: I know what I am going to do!
|Cranberry and Quince preserve (sauce)|
Cranberry and Quince Preserve
- 2 (12oz each) bags cranberries - 700 grams
- 1,5 cups sugar
- 1 quince, cored and quartered
- 2 cups water
In a blender or food processor blend together washed cranberries, quince, and water. If you don't have any of the mentioned equipment, just crash the cranberries with the potato masher. Cut quince into a small cubes with the knife.
Transfer all ingredients to a heavy-bottomed stainless steel or enameled cast iron 6+ Quarts pot.
Bring it to a boil, stirring a few times.
Add sugar, reduce the heat to a medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stir well.
Turn off the stove, and let it rest (uncovered) until it cools down (2-3 hours at least).
Bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring frequently (to prevent scorching), reduce the heat to a medium and boil for another 10 minutes.
Transfer hot preserve into a sterilized pint (500 ml) jar (s), leaving 1/2 inch from the top, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth, close with sterilized lid.
Let the jars cool completely (I usually leave it overnight), and refrigerate.
This preserve keeps up to 4 months in the refrigerator (if it stays that long. Not in my house though!)
If you process it by boiling the jars for 10 minutes, it will stay for up to a year (USDA has a resource)
Whether you like it with turkey on your sandwich, or as a dessert with your tea (my personal preference), this cranberry preserve (sauce) would be another homemade addition to your pantry.
Two teaspoons dissolved in a cup of hot water will make a perfect cold remedy, loaded with vitamins and fiber.
Have you ever been "stalked" by a fruit or vegetable on a market? :)