Canal House's Cranberry-Port Gelée

By • November 13, 2012 • 41 Comments



Author Notes: A DIY cranberry jelly for anyone who loves the stuff in the can (and even the ones who don't). Thanks to natural pectin in the cranberries, the gelée sets up all on its own, without gelatin or agar. Adapted very slightly from Canal House Cooks Every Day (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012)Genius Recipes

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup port (or red wine or Madeira)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries (about 4 cups -- frozen can be substituted)
  1. Put the port, sugar, juniper berries, and peppercorns into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cranberries burst and are very soft, about 10 minutes more.
  3. Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing the solids through the screen with a rubber spatula. Stir the thin and thick portions of the strained gelée together.
  4. Transfer to a pretty serving bowl. (A funnel or liquid measuring cup with a spout can be useful for transferring without splashing the sides.)
  5. Cover and refrigerate. It will firm up within a few hours, or can be made several days ahead.

Tags: cranberry sauce, gelee, jelly, sauce

Comments (41) Questions (4)

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7 months ago Willy

Is this something that can be canned?

Stringio

8 months ago Janet L Davies

I just made this for our Thanksgiving dinner and it is amazing! I did not push it through a sieve, instead, I put it in my Vitamix until it was mostly smooth. It's really delicious, I love the woodsy flavor from the juniper berries. We got our juniper berries from Penzeys by the way.

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8 months ago Regine

Is it too early to make it now so about 10 days before Thanksgiving, of course keeping it refrigerated?

Miglore

8 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I think you should be fine, if it's well-chilled and sealed. And that gives you plenty of time to sample too -- I'd recommend pouring some off into a separate vessel for that.

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over 1 year ago GregoryBPortland

Nice idea.

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over 1 year ago chefjim

Halve a ripe avocado and remove the seed, carefully scoop the 2 halves and place on plate putting a scoop of the cranberry gelle in the center where you removed the seed, crack sea salt and black peppercorns on top to taste. Adds a beautiful and delicious garnish to any plate.

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9 months ago darksideofthespoon

I like cleaning out a soup can and putting it in there to set. It's like a fancy reminder of my childhood.

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over 1 year ago Skinny bitches

This is delicious. I can't believe how easy it is to make. I made it the day before thanksgiving to serve with my pork tenderloin roast. I did not have juniper berry in hand, so I took Kristen's suggestion by infusing with orange rind and a pinch of dried thyme since I don't have fresh ones. My guests loved this so much!! I think I may have to can some as gifts for Christmas :D

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over 1 year ago gretch374

Made this yesterday with merlot and rosemary. I don't know what it's supposed to taste like, but this was divine. Thank you for this recipe, it's brilliant. I'll be using the leftovers as the best jelly known to humankind.

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Fantastic! Good to know rosemary pulls its weight.

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over 1 year ago Jennywren

Just made this exactly as written and it is fabulous. The port, peppercorn and juniper berries add such a nice woodsy like touch. As I was pushing it through the sieve I was thinking this would be a great side with game dishes like venison, wild boar or duckling as well as turkey Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe. It's a keeper!

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Great point about game meats! I totally agree.

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over 1 year ago Pretend Chef

Love this! Made a test batch two nights ago, and just made tomorrow's 'real' batch. The frugal part of is uncomfortable with discarding the solids, however. I put the leftovers in a food processor but the juniper berries and peppercorns are pretty strong as crushed solids. Maybe put them in cheesecloth to get the flavor so they can be easily extracted?

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Great idea for anyone who wants to keep a little more texture in the gelee. Thanks!

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over 1 year ago gretch374

I'm getting ready to make this right now. I can't find juniper berries in our little town, and am planning to use a couple sprigs of rosemary. Do you think that will work? Thank you! I can't wait to taste it!

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I think that could be nice -- let us know how you like it!

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over 1 year ago Bevi

I used a mid-range port and doubled the recipe. Per HLA I reduced about 3 oz. I added the tiniest pinch of Five Spice powder to the juniper berries and peppercorns. It is in its mold and appears to be on the way to setting up beautifully. I placed Plastic wrap right up against the gelee. So far, so good!

Cakes

over 1 year ago Bevi

This was delicious, a huge hit, and the reduction was just the right amount for a double batch. This is a keeper!

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over 1 year ago Kelly D

I'm a novice home canner - and I BELIEVE, but I'm not sure, everything in this is high acid enough to safety water-bath can this receipe - any expert home canners that can verify?

Gator_cake

over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This is safe for water bath canning. Here's a link to the Virginia Tech Extension information about boiling water bath canning. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu...

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over 1 year ago Kelly D

Thanks. I knew the cranberries were safe/high acid - I just wanted to make sure the addition of the port/alcohol didn't lower the acid level to an unsafe level, as I have no idea about the acid level of port wine.

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over 1 year ago artsycella

Just made this in prep for Thanksgiving. It tasted absolutely lovely out of the pan. Like others here, I didn't have juniper berries on hand and didn't relish a trip to Whole Foods or the like, so I just added in a few cloves instead. I was tempted to throw in some star anise, but chickened out at the last minute. Next time!

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over 1 year ago GregoryBPortland

Juniper berries are dried. You seen them in a lot of cooking from Alsace and Germany (think Chou Croute Garni). I found them at a shop that specializes in bulk spices. Forget trying to find them in a supermarket (maybe Whole Foods or other really upscale supermarkets). One final observation about this recipe. You have to have strong arms to push the puree through the mesh of a fine strainer. It's worth it.

Gator_cake

over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I made this last night using Shiraz port and a Chinese 5 spice seasoning blend (cinnamon, star anise, fennel seed, black pepper, and cloves). It's a gorgeous color and tastes fabulous. Mine didn't gel up as much as I'd like - it's a thick sauce rather than a jelly. The silver lining is I can incorporate it into cocktails.

Gator_cake

over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Made a second batch, and let the port/sugar mix reduce by 2-oz before adding the cranberries. Gelled beautifully & the spices had a bit more time to infuse.

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9 months ago darksideofthespoon

Glad I read this, I'm waiting for the port and sugar to boil, I'll happily take this advice! Canadian Thanksgiving today and I waited until the last minute to make this ;)

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over 1 year ago GregoryBPortland

I thought I had read the recipe correctly, but discovered that I put all the ingredients together in the pan and proceeded to cook it for 10 minutes. It turned out fine. I'm wondering why bring all ingredients to a boil except the cranberries, and then add the cranberries and cook 10 minutes. The pulp gelled into this gorgeous cranberry glee within a half hour. One other problem--I only had tawny port in the house. Made no difference. This is an ace side dish and one that I'll put on the table next to my cranberry relish for the jelly fans. I am a huge admirer of the Canal House books!

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over 1 year ago Mimi desjardins

Are Juniper Berries fresh, or do you find them in the spice aisle in a jar? I've never seen them except in the backyard!

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

We use them from jars in the spice aisle -- lucky you, having them in the back yard!

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over 1 year ago clessy

What's a good substitute for juniper berries?

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

While not direct substitutes, some strips of orange rind or sprigs of a wintry herb like thyme could add some flavor and aroma in place of the juniper berries.

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over 1 year ago AlexValich

I added some whole cloves instead and it seemed to work pretty well and gave it that late fall spice I wanted.

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over 1 year ago Thartge

What about an Alternative to alcohol? Unsweetened cranberry juice?

Miglore

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

You could try that, but you'll want to adjust to taste after straining -- it will probably need more sugar. A bit of balsamic vinegar might give it some of the tangy sweetness of port too.

Alex_profile

over 1 year ago AlexValich

This tastes wonderful and very easy to do. I made this last night with red wine, which made it thinner. I found if I took the post strained mixture and reduced it by a 1/3 in a pan on low heat (for about 10 minutes) it actually set up in the fridge just like the canned stuff we all grew up on. I actually have it setting up in an empty can right now to try and fool my culinary challenged parents into eating it next week.

Mlt_yogateau_1

over 1 year ago mtrelaun

Best comment ever!

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over 1 year ago Kelly D

Re: having it have it set up in an empty can, check out: http://www.foodinjars.com...