Where do I begin? This year – managed the Cranberry and Orange Relish a little early – bought fresh cranberries in panic 1 week early, just in case they run out…as you do. Christmas is nearly always around the 25th, isn’t it? And why does it always take us by surprise???
A bag of cranberries – weighing about half a pound. £2. OK – you can get a sugary purple red concoction for less than that in a jar, but you don’t know where it’s been, do you? And you do know what’s in it? Read the label, and weep…
I’m very happy to buy some convenience stuff, but this is one of those things that is just SO different if you make it yourself. And I am making it one week ahead – and will freeze it to be brought straight to table on the evening before…
It is one of my heroine, Dame Delia Smith of Norwich’s famous recipes. I do it slightly differently – and more simply
- Bag of cranberries
- 7 teaspoons of sugar
- Juice and an orange – and the zest from it – do that first!
- Half a teaspoon of ginger.
- A few cloves or 1/4 teaspoon of dried and ground cloves
- Some dried cinnamon – about a level teaspoon, or one cinnamon stick
- Tablespoon of port
And that’s it. Nor e numbers. No excess sugar. No extra bits of citric acid preservative or anything.
Start with the zester – great piece of kit. Thin peelings with vegetable peeler if not, then chop finely. Wash the cranberries. Squeeze the orange juice out – I have an old fashioned glass one – like my Nan had (this is quite interesting, because it is hers!) Chuck the slightly damp cranberries into a saucepan (No need to mince, as in the original recipe – the lovely things just soften up themselves, and you can mash them easily). Add the zest, orange juice and sugar, and all the spices, stir, boil, lid on and leave for 4 mins on low heat. Take lid off, and turn off. Get your spud masher in there and mash them up a bit. I like to leave some ’roundness’, so don’t over-mash. Add the port, and put into your serving dish (or two, like us – one for each end of the table…
Is that a good start? While boiling – the whole house suddenly became suffused with the scent of Christmas…so warm and scrumptious.
I’m thinking of repeating my ‘Christmas cooking’ blogs, updated a bit – hope that may be useful for you all?
Don’t you just love the time of year?