Cranberry Sauce – Three ways

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Cranberry sauce and poultry dishes just seem to go together. The sauce with whole berries is my favorite although I remember holidays when I was a child and my mother would get out the jellied cranberry sauce. She’d open both ends of the can and push the can shaped concoction onto a special dish and she would slice it.  I think we liked it. We ate it. And I know a lot of other people who still favor the wiggly, sliceable stuff. Cranberries are not available year round where I live so this year I decided to can sauce to use year round. I also froze several bags for recipes like cranberry muffins or sweet potato crisp. I did cranberry sauce three different ways; plain cranberry sauce, spiced cranberry sauce with orange rind and cinnamon and cloves, and cranberry apple relish.

Simple Cranberry Relish

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

10 cups cranberries

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Put your cranberries in a colander and wash them. Pick out the stems and any bad berries. In a large, heavy kettle combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cranberries and cook over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes without stirring until skins burst. Using a jar funnel ladle the sauce into sterilized pint jars, make sure the lips of the jars are wiped clean and put the two piece vacuum caps on your jars. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes making sure there are a couple inches of water over the jars. Put the jars on a heavy towel to cool.  Pretty basic.

Apple Cranberry Relish

6 tart apples peeled, cored and diced

10 cups cranberries

3 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1 T cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cloves

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In a large heavy kettle bring the sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Using a jar funnel ladle into pint jars leaving a 1/2 inch of head space. Make sure jar lips are wiped clean, fasten two piece vacuum lids and process in a water bath for 15 minutes. Put the jars on a heavy towel to cool.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

4 cups sugar

3 cups water

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

rind of one orange

2-3 whole cinnamon sticks

1 T whole cloves

10 cups cranberries

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Combine sugar and water in a large heavy kettle and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile remove orange peel with a sharp knife leaving as much of the white part on the orange. Cut the rind into very thin strips.  Juice the oranges. If necessary add bottled orange to make one cup. Put the cloves in a mesh bag for easy removal. Add juice, rind, cinnamon sticks, cloves and berries to simmering sugar water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until berries burst.

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Follow the steps outlined above to bottle the sauce. Process for 15 minutes in a water bath and cool jars on a heavy towel.

I think I will have to make chicken one night soon so I can enjoy a jar of cranberry sauce.  Any one of these would be a good addition to a carton of yogurt or over a dish of vanilla ice cream.  Or add a few tablespoons of sauce to a turkey or chicken sandwich.

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