November 17, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

Yes another reason to own a food mill :-) Today Jordan and I made cranberry sauce.

I can't stand the cranberry sauce, if you can call it that, out of a can. You remove the pale pinkish-redish log by cutting off both ends of the can and sliding it out. Then you slice it with a knife and serve the rounds, which would work better as a coaster for your wine than an accompaniment for turkey. Yick!

Homemade cranberry sauce however, is a nice bright red jam that is delicious on toast, rolls and sandwhiches not to mention turkey. Plus it is very easy to make although it does take a while to thicken. You do have to have a food mill and this time you can't substitute a food processor - sorry. But if you do have a food mill (or I have managed to convince you to go out and buy one), here is the recipe --

Cranberry Sauce
Makes 4 half-pints
Time = 2 hours

4 c whole, fresh bright cranberries
2 c water
2 c sugar

Place cranberries and water in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until all the cranberries have popped. (Your kids will get a kick out of the popping - it's better than milk on Rice Krispy cereal.) Place the food mill on a second pot over low heat. Pour the cranberries and liquid into the food mill. Turn, reversing every once in a while to loosen the skins, until all the pulp is through and only the skins remain. Discard the skins. Add the sugar to the sauce. Bring to simmer over low heat. Every 15 or so stir until the sauce sheets off the spoon.* Pour sauce into 4 hot half pint jars. (If you have extra sauce, pour into a small Tupperwear dish and use on toast over the next week.) Secure lids and allow to cool to room temperature. The lids should pop closed. Use any that don't seal within 2 weeks. Place the ones that do seal in the pantry and store up to a year.

*"sheets off the spoon" - Insert a metal, room temperature spoon into the sauce, so that the wide side of the spoon is facing the side of the pot, and when you remove it, if the sauce sheets off instead of dripping off then the sauce is ready. It can take an hour-and-a-half or more for the sauce to thicken to the point of sheeting. Don't rush this step or you will get runny sauce instead of a jam consistency. If you do rush it and get runny sauce, don't throw it out -- it is really good on vanilla ice cream or pancakes.

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