Cranberry Quince Preserves That Can Go With Turkey But Also Just Toast

So, I was gonna post this last week but my internet connection hasn’t been cooperating.  I am very thankful that it is working again.  I am also thankful to be sitting on couch being generally lazy, watching the Macy’s Parade and cuddling with my dogs while pumpkin pie bakes in the oven.   I’m so, so thankful that my husband and I can stay at home all day and not do any work and eat lots of turkey and watch football.  It’s basically the best thing ever.   cranberry preservesThis cranberry-quince-orange preserve is going to be on our table in a few hours.   I actually love cranberries and think they shouldn’t just be for the holiday season, so I actually like it as an every day winter preserve on whole grain toast.   It would be a fantastic part of a holiday cheese plate with some chevre and prosciutto.quinceCRANBERRY QUINCE PRESERVES

This recipe is inspired and adapted from the Hungry Tigress’ recipe for Holiday Preserves.  I actually had planned to follow her recipe exactly, but then I realized that I didn’t have any candied ginger but that I did have some nice looking navel oranges.

Cook Time: 2 hrs, but barely any of it is active cooking time

Makes: 9 half pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 5 c. sugar
  • 5 c. water
  • 1 1/2 lbs. quince, cored and diced*
  • 2 1/4 lbs. fresh cranberries (3 of the 12 oz. bags that are commonly sold in grocery stores. I wish we had a local source for cranberries, but we really just don’t.)
  • 2 c. fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbs. orange zest

In a large, nonreactive pot, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add the diced quince and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, until the quince have turned from a pale yellow to a rosy color and the sugar water has thickened into more of a syrup.

Prepare boiling water canner, jars and lids while the quince simmers in the sugar water.

Add the cranberries, orange juice and zest and cook on high, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Cook until the preserves set, which will happen fairly quickly.  (Click here for more info if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Ladle the hot jam into the prepared jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed.

*I left the skins on my quinces, but most recipes call to peel them. They really don’t bother me, though.cranberry preserves spoon

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Menu Planning

I am super excited.

Black Dog Farm Thanksgiving Dinner Menu:

 Mendocino Organics Pastured Turkey- brined with bay leaves and roasted on the grill with lump charcoal and hickory chips

Olive Oil Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Turkey Gravy

Cornbread Stuffing with homemade sage pork sausage

Roasted Winter Squash with blue cheese and pecans

Creamed Alliums and Winter Greens

Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon and Brown Sugar

Cranberry-Orange Marmalade & Cranberry Jam

________

Marlborough Pie

Pecan Pie

Poached Seckel Pears in Red Wine Syrup

Oh, and you can talk all you want about wine pairing with turkey, but you may have noticed that it’s going on the grill.   That means that we’re probably going to drink about 3,000 beers as the day goes on since it will technically be a barbeque, and that’s what you’re supposed to do for those.

Valencia Orange Marmalade with Apples and Cranberries

After the saga of the ruptured ligament in my ankle a few weeks ago, things are starting to get a little bit more back to normal.  I’ve been hobbling around, planting some kale, picking some flowers, and starting to clear some beds to make room for winter vegetables.  It’s been equal amounts of elation to be walking around and frustration that it’s still so slow.  I’m incredibly grateful to be back at it, though, and I realize that the injury I have is relatively minor compared to some of the health problems or accidents that some people have to deal with.

The gardens plugged along just fine without me for a few weeks, and are in that delicate transitional stage that November often brings.   Some of the flowers and greens are doing really well now that the temperatures have cooled down.  We haven’t had a hard frost yet, so the summer vegetables are still just holding on, their production slowed down to a crawl.  Slowly but surely, I’m clearing away all of the faded summer plants and getting my winter babies into the ground: purple brussels sprouts, several varieties of kale and chard, alcosa cabbages, asian greens, all kinds of garlic and onions, and much more.  I finally, finally got to make a batch of jam.  I went almost two weeks without canning anything at all, which is longer than I’ve gone in years.  This marmalade turned out so delicious, with the perfect blend of tart and sweet. I used a two day process; many marmalade-makers may have seem something similar to this before.  Normally you’d slice the oranges and combine them with water, letting them sit for 24 hours.  The natural pectin in the citrus fruit seeps out into the water and helps ensure a good gel without any added commercial pectin.  This time, instead of using plain water, I used some tart apple juice that I’d prepared for jelly and had stashed away earlier.  The pectin in the apple juice wasn’t absolutely necessary to get a good set, but it certainly helped, and the flavor of fresh apples combined with sweet valencia oranges and fresh cranberries was a fantastic combination. The sweetness of the apples completely rounded out the tartness of the citrus and cranberries to make a wonderfully mellow marmalade.  It will be delicious with our roast turkey on Thanksgiving, but we’ve already gone through two jars just doing the toast thing.

Valencia Orange Marmalade with Apples and Cranberries

Cook Time: well, it’s a two day process. It’s got several steps but it’s not actually all that difficult.

Makes: I think it made 7 half-pint jars, but we’ve already gone through a couple of them and I forgot to count before I wrote this post.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large organic valencia oranges, sliced for marmalade (see how I did lemons in this other post with pictures)
  • 6 c. cooked apple juice from tart apples, such as granny smiths or crabapples (see below for preparation instructions)
  • 3 1/2 c. fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 6 c. sugar

To prepare the apple juice:*

Quarter 8 or 9 apples.  Remove the stems, any bruised spots or worm holes, and any attached leaves. (Leave the skin on and the cores in).  Place the apples in a medium sized, nonreactive pot and cover with water.  Cook for two hours.  Pour the apple and water mixture into a jelly bag or through cheesecloth to strain the juice.  I drained mine for four hours, but you can leave it draining for 12 or even 24 hours. Don’t press on the bag or the cheesecloth while it drains or the juice will be cloudy.  The juice will last for several weeks in the fridge (and several months in the freezer).

To Make The Marmalade, Day 1:

Slice the oranges for marmalade.  Make sure to sharpen a good knife and slice the peels as thinly as possible.  (If you don’t slice them very thinly, they won’t cook all the way through, and they’ll be gross chunks of bitter orange rinds).  Combine the prepared oranges with the prepared apple juice in a nonreactive container and leave it to sit overnight.

Day 2:

Bring boiling water canner to a boil.  Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water.  Place your lids in a bowl and cover with boiling water from the canner.

Put the orange/apple juice mixture into a large, nonreactive pot.  Add the fresh cranberries and the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade reaches about 220 degrees on a candy thermometer (or whichever your favorite gel test is- there are several.  I found this pdf using the power of google that has a very good explanation of different gel tests in case you’re unsure about it).

Ladle the hot marmalade into the clean jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Wipe rims clean and screw on lids.  Process for 10 minutes in the boiling water canner.