Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Jellied Cranberry Sauce | Pinky's Pantry
My brother-in-law, Anthony, hails from Arkansas. He loves canned cranberry sauce. He grew up eating it as part of their Thanksgiving dinners and looks for it every year so I’ve made it a point to always have a can on hand for him each Thanksgiving. That being said, have you looked at the ingredients list for the canned stuff? It’s not very healthy. It’s made with high fructose corn syrup, for one.

So several years ago, I decided to try making my own jellied cranberry sauce. I even bought a pretty mold to put it in. Now the operative word is “tried.” I tried several times and failed…. miserably. Somehow, the sauce never quite seemed to work. It either didn’t jell, or didn’t taste good, or something was always wrong. But now, by jove, I think I’ve got it! Finally, this one not only tastes good but holds its shape when taken out of the mold! If you really have to have that can shape, you can pour this into an empty can or two and chill them in the fridge until ready to serve.

This sauce uses a lot of cranberries because you only use the liquid that you get from straining them. That leaves a lot of cranberries to discard. If you don’t want to waste the cranberry solids, don’t throw them away. Use them to make a second batch of cranberry sauce so your guests will have 2 kinds to choose from. Just stir in 1/2 cup or so of orange juice, or water, or even wine like cabernet or merlot into the solids. Transfer to a bowl and serve. You can even jazz it up by adding the zest from 1 large orange, a little cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, chopped pecans, etc.
Jellied Cranberry Sauce | Pinky's Pantry

JELLIED CRANBERRY SAUCE
(Makes about 6 cups)

  • 4 (12-oz.) bags fresh cranberries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  1. Place cranberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water, picking out and discarding any wrinkly or mushy ones, or any stems you might find.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, and 3 cups water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until all the berries have burst, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Pour into a large fine-mesh sieve set over a 2-quart glass measure or bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the juices. If you want your jelly to be more “clear” with less of an applesauce consistency, don’t press on the solids. Just pour the sauce into the sieve and let stand about 30 minutes or until all juices have drained through. Note that you will get less liquid this way.
  5. While cranberries are draining, place the ⅓ cup water and gelatin into a small sauce pot and stir together with a wire whisk. Let stand about a minute to soften.
  6. Add 1 cup of the drained cranberry liquid to the gelatin mixture and bring to a simmer over low heat, gently stirring with the whisk till gelatin is completely dissolved.
  7. Pour gelatin mixture back into remaining cranberry liquid and stir well.
  8. Pour cranberry sauce into lightly oiled decorative mold or small individual molds.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic wrap against the cranberry sauce to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside to cool.
  10. Place in refrigerator to chill until firmly set, preferably overnight.

TO UNMOLD:  Run tip of a thin knife between edge of mold and cranberry jelly. Tilt mold sideways and tap side of mold against a padded work surface, turning and tapping to break the seal and loosen cranberry jelly. Keeping mold tilted, invert a plate over the mold, then invert cranberry jelly onto the plate.

NOTE:  Jellied cranberry sauce can be chilled in the mold for up to 3 days.
It can also be unmolded 1 hour ahead and kept chilled or at room temperature before serving.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Cranberry Orange Sauce | Pinky's Pantry
This is a super easy cranberry sauce made with fresh squeezed orange juice. The citrus juice gives it a nice bright flavor. You can cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to make so much sauce. I have a big family so two bags of cranberries suits us just fine. Cranberries have a natural pectin that is released when they burst and which thickens the sauce naturally. If the sauce becomes too thick as it cools, just stir in a little more orange juice or water till it reaches the consistency you like.

CRANBERRY ORANGE SAUCE

  • 2 bags (12 ozs. each) fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar (you can add more or less sugar to your taste)
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • juice from 2 oranges (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and cranberries have burst, about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the cranberry sauce into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the sauce. This will prevent a skin from forming on top.
  4. Let cool to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

NOTE:  If you prefer a sauce with a smoother texture, transfer the cranberry mixture to a food processor or blender after cooking, and pulse until sauce is to desired texture.

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Scones | Pinky's PantryWell, here goes. My first blog post. I thought I would start with my cranberry scones. Is there anything better than waking up in the morning to the smell of hot coffee and freshly baked scones? I love all things bread-y and doughy and these scones fit the bill. They’re warm, comforting, easy to make, and my kids love them.

This is a very forgiving recipe. You can substitute plain yogurt, sour cream, whipping cream, half-and-half, or buttermilk for the liquid (milk) in the recipe. It all works. If you want to, you could also switch the dried cranberries for raisins, dried blueberries, or some other dried fruit.

The secret to making nice, tender scones is to work quickly and handle the dough as little as possible. The more you knead the dough, the tougher your scones will turn out, so don’t over work it and your scones will be just fine.

CRANBERRY SCONES

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest (optional)
  • 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cold margarine or butter
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Combine flour, sugar, orange zest (if using), baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; then stir in dried cranberries.
  3. Combine milk and vanilla and stir into flour mixture.
  4. Gather dough together and turn out onto floured work surface.
  5. Cut in half and form into two balls.
  6. Pat each ball into a flat disk, at least half an inch thick.
  7. Cut each disk into 6 wedges.
  8. Place each wedge on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  9. Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

NOTE:  I usually omit the orange zest because I’m too lazy to zest an orange. This recipe turns out fine without it. Otherwise, Trader Joe’s sells orange-flavored cranberries that work great in this recipe. You can omit the orange zest and use the Trader Joe’s cranberries instead, if you prefer.