Cranberry Conserve

I looked at the prices for dried cranberries ($4.99/lb.) and decided I should take advantage of an opportunity to buy in bulk.

I paid thirty dollars for eighteen pounds, which comes to $1.67/pound. I have to add in the cost of fuel and labor to convert the cranberries into dried and cooked, of course, but I am sure it still compares well to the grocery store packages. Since I use glass jars for preserving, it is also more ecological.

I dried a couple of pans of cranberries in a low temperature oven. It took forever, 24 hours!, so I decided to make cranberry conserve instead.

By adapting recipes, I evolved a series of unique and delicious flavors as I experimented with the several batches I made.

Here are my basics plus variations:

Two bags of cranberries (12 oz. each).

Two peeled apples, cut up. (I used a fun new toy, an apple-peeler-slicer-corer.)

A quart of fermented citrus. (I had several quarts on hand due to canning a case of oranges that I also bought in bulk. I couldn’t make enough marmalade fast enough to preserve all the oranges, so I found a quicker recipe and made “fermented” citrus.)

I added about five whole all-spices and 5-7 whole cloves.

It is amazing.
It all cooks down to a consistency which you like, more or less moist, and the spices are so fragrant!
It only takes about ten minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Super fast and super simple.
It tastes great with turkey, mixed in a smoothie, and, especially on vanilla ice cream!

Each batch made about five pints or so.
I also made a couple of half-pint batches.
I am all set for several years, now, I think!

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage


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