Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Conserve

Steve and I were with my family near Chicago over Thanksgiving. I still made my Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Conserve, my new favorite Thanksgiving dish. I did buy two bags of cranberries before leaving, and a turkey (69 cents a pound, come on!) and some yams. I just love Thanksgiving and will cook up the turkey next weekend. I put two loaves of cranberry bread in the oven just now. The sky to the East is that charcoal gray giving way to white that suggests snow is on the way. The small pond has a sickly layer of ice and snow on it, the only remnant of the Thanksgiving snow we missed. I'm transitioning quickly into holiday mode.

Here, for those of you who can't get enough of cranberries, or bought an extra bag, or have some left over after stringing them for the tree (does anyone still do that?), is the recipe... the original makes about 12 cups, so I've cut it down a bit, with rough proportions. The key is to put the cranberries in the pot in stages, so you have different consistencies in the final product.

Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Conserve
3/4 cup water
2 cups turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
1 cinnamon stick (or teaspoon of cinnamon-- to taste)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 bags fresh cranberries (9-12 oz)
2 apples (gala), peeled and chopped
1- 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
2 Tbsp brandy (red wine also works, or nothing)

Simmer water, sugar, cinnamon stick (or cinnamon), allspice and half of cranberries in heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until cranberries start to pop. Add half of remaining cranberries and cook 5 minutes more. Add apples, walnut pieces and remaining cranberries and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add brandy and simmer 1 minute. Discard cinnamon stick and serve warm or at room temperature.

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