When the bags with fresh cranberries fill the counters of my grocery store produce section, I grab four, five, six…ten one-pound bags. At least. I through those bags into my freezer and use the berries until a new crop comes. They feel wonderful in the freezer.
Then, during a winter-spring season, I am making muffins, breakfast breads, cakes, chutneys, sauces, sugary, and tart jams. Cranberries are so versatile – because of their sweet-and-sour tangy taste, they are delicious in desserts as well as in savory condiments.
One of the latest recipes from my cranberry collection is a cranberry-onion jam. It became an excellent addition to my Christmas table. I’ve also added this jam in nice jars with cute ribbons (along with my homemade tomato jam, olive tapenade, store bought crackers, truffle honey, and various cheeses) to the holiday gift baskets for our son and friends. (I’m so sorry that I didn’t take a picture of those lovely baskets).
A delicately flavored with spices and herbs the jam is great for serving with meats and cheeses. A wheel of brie cheese topped with these rosemary-thyme cranberries and surrounded with fresh rosemary or thyme can form an eye-catching centerpiece on a dessert or appetizer table.
It is time to make a new batch of this jam – let’s see how many bags of cranberries left in my freezer…
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, season them with salt and sauté on low heat for 15 minutes.
Add the brandy and deglaze for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the orange zest, orange pieces with their juices, cranberries, herbs, and spices; bring to a boil and simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should have jam consistency.
Ladle hot jam into dry clean jars. Close the jars with the lids. Cool.
Store the jam in a refrigerator.
Depending on a cranberry and onion variety and quality of your saucepan, you may need to add ¼ cup (or more) water during last 15 minutes of preparation.
Grapefruit, Meyer lemon, bloody orange, and/or clementine can be used in place of the orange or with it.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!