Remember that band? Weird.
Living in New England is great about 75% of the time. December to March gets a little dicey but overall, I can't complain. I grew up next to a cranberry bog, and it was beautiful during the fall.
So I always knew about cranberries and liked cranberry juice and cranberry sauce, but I never really appreciated them until last week. I actually bought some locally raised (like in my town) cranberries. Not only did I feel high-and-mighty for being so environmentally aware, I was really proud of this item that is shipped from my little town, all over the world.
I let all that get in the way of the fact that I had never cooked a cranberry, and really had no idea what you could do with them.
Luckily, Google helped me out & I found a lot of recipes for cranberries that I could use.
First I made regular old cranberry jam. It was almost an epic failure when I let them boil over. But luckily, I somehow managed to save it. FYI, don't ever let jam boil over on a glass stove top. It's bad. Really bad.
Here's where I found my first recipe:
I skipped the pectin with no issues. It's a little watery without, but honestly, it doesn't really need the pectin. I canned it into 6 1/2 pint jars.
It was sweet & tart, just like the cranberry sauce I always have at holidays! First jam-a success! Plus Miss Autumn Mae and family approved.
So then I decided to get crazy. I couldn't find anything that was unique enough to feel like I made it my own. So I consulted the hubs, and we decided on cranberry balsamic jam. I had seen a recipe for strawberry balsamic jam & figured it would be much the same. And it worked! We plan on serving it with pork or turkey, possible as a glaze. Or maybe with a really strong cheese. Yum.
Cranberry & Balsamic Vinegar Jam
Makes 4 pints
4 cups cranberries, washed & bad stuff picked out
1c orange juice or water
2 cups white sugar
1/2 box low sugar pectin
6 tbs balsamic vinegar
Bring cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to a boil in a large saucepan (watch out! It boils fast!)
Cook for 10 minutes on medium
Use an immersion blender to break up any chunks. (I left it a bit chunky)
OK now add the pectin.
Stir it in, and bring to a full boil for 1 minute.
Now add the vinegar. Stir in and taste. Doesn't it taste awesome??
I canned it in 1 pint jars and it made 4 pints with a little bit left over. Process in a boiling water bath for15 minutes, and you're done!
I may skip the pectin next time, but other than that, it was a success!
And just to showcase my awful photography skills, here are the jars processing:
That's all I've got for now kids!