Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A good way with cranberries

This is a lovely way to use some of the gorgeous red cranberries that are on sale right now - in a delicious Christmassy, spicy, jammy relish.  The original recipe for a cranberry mincemeat was posted on my old blog a couple of years ago, but  I have tweaked it a wee bit since then.  Here is my latest version - very yummy, if I say so myself.

2 lb 8 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 large cooking apples (I used bramleys)
2 teaspoons mixed spice
8 oz butter
6 or 7 fl oz maple syrup

Cook together until the butter has melted and the fruit is beginning to soften (don't let it get too soft at this stage)

Then add

About 1 lb 4 oz of sugar (brown preferably, but I had a mixture of soft brown and golden caster sugar 
                                       to make up the weight)

6 oz of chopped candied peel
4 fl oz cointreau (my preference as I think the orange flavour goes well with here, but brandy or rum 
                           would work too)

Mix in until sugar is dissolved, then simmer until the fruit is nice and soft, but still whole.  Ladle into hot sterilised jars and cover with a waxed disc, just as you would for other preserves.  The butter will coat the fruit as it cools, stopping the fermentation you sometimes get with other mincemeat recipes.

We made some cranberry mincemeat pies  - just roll out some shortcrust pastry, stamp into rounds and spoon some of the cranberry mincemeat into each pastry shell.  Add a little pastry star, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 350 deg (180 c) until -

- golden brown and delicious.  Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.

But don't let you children wander through to your carpeted front room with them though.  Make them sit at the kitchen table.

Pop a festive fabric hat on some of the jars to give as presents.

But keep plenty for your own kitchen too, as it is very versatile as well as delicious.  It can be used in traditional mince pies, as a compote with ice cream,  or any number of dessert ideas.  You could even use it as a cranberry sauce with the turkey, or later with cold cuts and sandwiches - lovely with the Christmas ham.  And it keeps well too - an all round winner. xxx

Once opened, keep in the fridge and use up within 2 weeks.


  1. So delicious, how can you eat just one???

  2. Wow, this looks delightful. I love cranberries! Question: do you need to use the liquor? Not that I'm opposed to it, but I just don't cook with it that often. I wish I weren't so skiddish about canning...one of these days when the kids are older and I have a few hours a peace, maybe I'll give it a try!

  3. This looks fabulous, and I stocked up on local cranberries so I have plenty! My question is, if I can the compote, do I need to put it in a pressure cooker, use a water bath, or do I just spoon it into the canning jars and screw the tops on. I'd feel pretty awful if I gave anyone botulism for Christmas. ;)

  4. Karen - I may have eaten more than one...

    Tonya - I don't see why you can't leave the booze out. it is really like a preserve so i don't usually add liquor to my jams. it is a Christmas thing :)

    MS - I have changed the original recipe to be like a proper mincemeat, so it should keep for up to a year, if properly sterilised jars are used. I will edit to say to keep it in the'fridge once opened and use within 2 weeks. It would do no harm to use a canning bath if you prefer though. I am only giving small jars away, and am keeping a quart size jar in my fridge for cooking over the holidays.

  5. I can not wait to try this! We have baking day scheduled for next week and this just got added to the list.
    I do have one question, I am not sure what mixed spice is? Is it similar to allspice?

  6. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering! :)

  7. My mouth is watering and I'm sure I can even smell them!! Delicious xx

  8. Those look absolutely great. I adore Mincepies, always have! J used to make a similar concoction up in Sweden using Lingonberries, which I believe are of the same family, but smaller. These grew prolifically in the forests around us and when mixed with fresh Blueberries (again prolific in forest) made a great desert with cream or (better still) ice-cream.

  9. Hi - thanks again everyone - do try it. it is not as sweet as dried fruit mincemeats it has a hint of sharpness. xx
    Tracey - mixed spice is a sweet spice mixture, used in fruit cakes and pudding things. I suppose similar to your pumkin spice. i googled and found a recipe
    4 tsp groun cinnamon
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp ground allspice
    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp ground cloves

    this makes about 2-1/2 tablespoons of mixed spice, so you could keep it in a small jar and use it again.

    Iain - I only ever came across lingonberries in Ikea, but they are all related. i am hoping to plant some cranberries and blue berries next year. xx

  10. Dear Barefoot Crofter...being just a few months, ahem, younger than you, I was wondering if you could send me something...some of your energy and motivation! LOL! I wouldn't want to take any from you, but if you have any energy and motivation just hanging around with nothing to do, send them my way, would ya?
    Much love to you,
    p.s. gosh this looks so, so scrummy!

  11. Yum! I also put up a recipe with cranberries today!

  12. ahhh, if only I didn't have so many things to do on my "to do" list, then I might find time to squeeze in some of these!

  13. Christmas Jewels in a Jar!


    San xx

  14. oh thank goodness...! I had a ton of cranberries that I bought on sale, but I hadn't figured out what to do with them yet- so thank you!! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  15. This sounds SO GOOD! I love cranberries, and I never know what to do with them. Brilliant! :)

  16. "- golden brown and delicious. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy." YUMMY! That photo makes me want to dive through this computer screen. <3

  17. Yum, yum, yum!! Thank you for sharing your recipe for perfect holiday decadence!

  18. mmmm,sounds delicious!!!
    I,m going to try it...


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