It’s been a drawn out few months in many ways. I have been yo-yo-ing between being unemployed and employed to being unemployed once again. Before you think I’ve been throwing pranks and stink bombs in the office or something to get myself fired – well no. Sadly, it’s not as fun as that. I was made ‘redundant’, you could say. Although I’m a lowly temp worker so I seem to be on a treadmill of mind-numbing meaningless jobs for the foreseeable future.
In the mean time I have been cooking, baking, recipe testing/tweaking, and conjuring up endless new ideas, as well as trying to make my way into the Publishing industry.
Recently I finally tried preserving. Cranberries, to be exact. I thought it would be quite difficult with the whole boiling of jars, exact temperatures with jam flying everywhere. But it really wasn’t.
My recipe is loosely based on this recipe by Nigella Lawson, however, with a lot of what I do, I don’t follow recipes.
First off: I used frozen cranberries. That said, I had to travel to three different supermarkets to FIND cranberries… any of them, at all. Now I see them everywhere (fresh and frozen).
Secondly: get some jars. I bought my Kilner jars from TK Maxx.
You will need:
- 1 bag frozen cranberries
- 150-200g caster sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
- 3 tablespoons Chambord (or cherry brandy)
- 4 fluid ounces water
- Juice of 1 lemon & rind OR juice of 1 orange & rind.
- Place all ingredients except for the Chambord into a medium-sized saucepan and place on a low-medium heat.
- In the meantime, you will need to sterilize your jars. Wash your jars and lids in warm soapy water, rinse, and then place in a huge saucepan of cold water until the jars are just covered. Bring the pan to a boil and simmer the jars for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes are up, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid.
- By this time your cranberry mix should be bubbling. Cook until the liquids have reduced to a thick sauce and the berries should be bursting.
- Add the Chambord to the cranberry mix. Taste and add more sugar/lemon/orange juice as desired.
- Take your jars carefully out of the water bath with tongs. Using a funnel or fierce precision, pour the cranberry mixture into the jar. If there is air in the jar then slide a wooden spoon along the edge to release the air bubbles. Remove any excess sauce from the rim of the jar – place the lids on the jar, making sure to release the screw band slightly to allow for steam to escape.
- Allow them to cool until room temperature. The seal should be airtight and not move. Seal the screw band and then store in the fridge for 2-3 months.
I have this odd feeling that I’ll be turning into my Grandma when I’m older – she always made her own jam (strawberry, blackberry, etc).
Have you tried preserving before? How did it go? Let me know what you think.