Author Notes: From whenever cranberries appear in the market. To garnish roast chicken, side dish for curry or provide contrast in cheddar sandwiches. Depending on how traditional your family table is, use as replacement for cranberry sauce or addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Or save for day-after sandwiches. Adapted from Emelie Tolley & Chris Mead in Herbal Pantry, 1992. Have found, through making many times, that cranberries, fresh sage, crystallized ginger, sugar and cider vinegar are the 5 essentials. The other ingredients can be played as jazz riffs or omitted when the grocery store or cupboard are bare, and you'll still have a fine spread. —Nancy
Makes: 6 cups or 3 pints
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (660g)
cups sugar (300g)
cup cider vinegar (120 ml)
cup crystallized ginger, chopped (25g)
tablespoons FRESH sage, chopped (6g)
Important additions (you can omit or vary them tremendously)
cups dried dates and raisins (total 200g)
cup almonds, slivered (25g)
orange, whole chopped (160g)
cup orange juice (250 ml)
teaspoon mustard seed, whole or ground (3g)
cup onion, chopped (80g)
- Chop the orange and dates, combine all but 1 tbsp fresh sage in a medium size non-aluminum saucepan.
- Over moderate heat, cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
- Increase heat, cook, stirring until berries pop & mixture thickens slightly.
- Add remaining tablespoon of fresh sage, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Ladle into clean containers for fridge (6 mo) or freezer (one year) storage. Let cool. Put away in fridge or freezer.
- If you like and have the equipment, sterilize, pack in canning jars and store at room temperature minimum 1 year.
- Variations: For almond, walnut or other to taste. For dates and raisins, other dried fruit, chopped if it comes in large pieces. For dried mustard, 1 tsp prepared. For orange and juice: other citrus (Meyer lemons especially good). For regular onion: shallot, spring onion, white part of leeks.