Cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly, cranberry preserves or cranberry conserve, that red stuff in the can...what ever you may call it, cranberries are synonymous with the holidays. This combination of cranberries and citrus adds the perfect pop to your holiday table! (Not to mention the sandwiches there after!) Trust me, even if you have a Cranberry sauce hater, this version will convert them!
This is the recipe that really began my company of selling jellies. I began making this for my dad at Christmas and it just caught on until I was making more and more for gifts. Funny how life takes something and can turn it into something more isn't it?
Many times I post recipes in my Insta-stories with how-to pics along the way. I decided to save this version of my recipe to share with everyone here as it's is a staple in my home. Plus, we are all busy and this gets it up faster doesn't it?
My recipe is large as I serve a big group for Thanksgiving. We like leftovers and I always serve the cranberry conserve on appetizers as well. (On warm brie it's divine!!!) This recipe uses two 1 pound bags of cranberries. Most folks would be happy with one bag so just half the recipe and you will have a more moderate amount.
Here we go! Gather 2 lbs. cranberries, 2 cups sugar, 1 orange, 1/2 cup dried fruit of choice (raisins, blueberries, craisins - anything you like!) 1/2 cup chopped pecans & 1 cup water.
Wash your cranberries, careful to remove all those tiny hidden stems and any yucky cranberries along the way. Add cranberries and water to a pot and bring to a boil.
I cook my berries on medium heat so I can keep an eye on them while I work on the pecans and orange.
Next let's quarter the orange, and chop the pecans, I do a big chop so that we have bites and some chew to our conserve, feel free to chop as big or small as you like. Time to get that food processor out for our next step too!
Place your quartered orange in the food processor with blade attachment. This was a good size orange, a bigger orange will add more zesty flavorful the conserve which I love! This orange did not have seeds, feel free to remove if yours does. I grind the rind and all, it's great! Don't be leery of this step, orange rind is really good for you! It adds calcium,magnesium, Vitamin A and B and fiber. Nothing but goodness hidden in flavor. Chose very bright oranges with unblemished rinds.
Completed orange ground. I try to make sure there are no big pieces of rind remaining.
Grab your potato masher and give the cooked cranberries a good smushing. You can mash these as much or as little as you prefer. I tend to mostly mash it and leave just enough whole cranberries for appearance and a bit of texture.
Once you finish mashing it's time to add the sugar, ground orange and dried fruit. Typically, I used raisins but in recent years I have experimented with other dried fruit and it's been great with the different flavors.
Turn down the heat to low and mix everything well.
Now you just want to cook for a bit on low and let your sauce thicken. Just about 5-10 minutes should do it. If you have things to do, cut the heat and let the warm pot do it's thing and the conserve will set up a bit.
Once your conserve is thickened, remove the pot from the heat and add the chopped pecans.
Mix in the pecans and you're all finished! I make this at least a day in advance so it can cool in the fridge. It's perfectly fine to serve it warm if you like also.
I store mine in Tupperware and it lasts a few weeks in the fridge. You can also grab some mason jars and can this in a water bath if you like to have it year-round when it's harder to find cranberries. On serving day, serve in a pretty glass dish for best effect.
This cranberry conserve is great on appetizers as well! Mini fillo/pastry shells cooked in the oven with a scoop of brie until melted are fantastic with a dollop of this on top! Another idea is to cook a full round of brie until soft and then top with cranberry conserve and serve with crackers. If you enjoy cranberries but want to spice it up a bit, try our Holiday Pepper Jelly, gonna pop the link here.... Our Holiday is a blend of cranberries, pecans with just the right bite! You can make some fantastic appetizers with it as well! Hope you enjoy the season! Be sure to tag me if you make something yummy on all the socials! (@fromjenniferskitchen)