Well it has certainly been doing that this past while. What better way to spend incarceration than in a warm kitchen cooking up festive goodies
Last year I made Nigella Lawson's cranberry jam. It was grand but I felt it was a bit stodgy. I like to use it with the turkey, cold meats and cheese as well as on my toast and prefer a softer texture. I also wanted the addition of orange. I always like the flavour of oranges at Christmas so I conjured this up in my kitchen. Nice soft texture and lovely flavour. A little sharpness against the sweetness and a lovely hint of orange. I am looking forward to serving this on my table come Christmas day. Incredibly easy to make and perfect for beginners as cranberries are packed full of pectin so setting is never a problem. Give it a go. It can't fail and it is much much nicer than shop bought cranberry sauces for Christmas. Makes lovely gifts too.
1 kilo /2.2lbs cranberries fresh or frozen
1 kilo/2.2 lbs sugar
Grated rind and juice of two oranges (approx 250mls/1 cup)
500mls /2 cups water
Large heavy based pan
5-6 450gm/1lb jars sterilised in a warm oven
For a smooth jam, place the cranberries in the saucepan with the orange juice and water.
Heat gently until the cranberries just start to soften.
Whizz the mixture in the food processor.
Return to the pot and add the sugar and orange peel.
Heat gently stirring all the time until the sugar dissolves, that is to say when it no longer feels gritty.
Bring the mix to a fast rolling boil for about twenty minutes.
leave to cool slighlty then pot into your warm jars.
You can test for a set by dropping some jam onto a cold plate, leave for a few minutes and push gently with your finger. If it wrinkles it is done. Really you will find you don't need to worry as this will set perfectly due to the pectin content of the cranberries.
If you want whole pieces of fruit just put everything into the saucepan and boil.
Our cold spell continues. It is causing chaos for those who have to travel. This country is used to more temperate winters so we are never prepared for the snow and sub zero temperatures. The fuel bills will be high but the countryside looks magical covered in it's white sparkling coat. The gutters wear long diamond earrings and the mist thrown over its shoulders lends an ethereal quality to the scene. So much prettier than the usual dark clouds and rain.