When you think of cranberries you might say “Oh I know what to do with cranberries that’s easy.” but did you know that they can be so much more! We love cranberries for their extreme sour taste that compliments both sweet and savoury dishes which broadens their versatility in so many ways. So instead of just making some cranberry sauce, or jelly, or using them in muffins, we decided to spice it up a little and take this sharp little berry to a new place.
We made two conserves, Sassy Chipotle Cranberry and our ‘Woodland’ Cranberry, Juniper and rosehip conserve.
Sassy Chipotle Cranberry Conserve:
This was a really fun surprise! Turns out that the tangy little cranberry takes a little heat and smokiness quite well. First we lightly candied some lemon peel, and set aside, then we reduced the cranberries low and slow with some chipotle, red pepper, thin slices of fresno peppers and hint of paprika. The result, is tangy, sweet, and subtle spicy smoke that doesn’t fully reveal itself until it’s fully on your palate. There’s just enough heat to intrigue, but not enough to bite!
This conserve pairs particularly well with softer, more subtle and even floral cheeses… a caraway gouda, haloumi, or german butter.. for example. It also makes a great sandwich condiment, used sparingly and matched with a little grainy dijon, adding a bit of colour and sass to roast beef, flavorful cured meats like pancetta or prosciutto.
Woodland Cranberry Conserve (with juniper and rosehips):
This conserve is sure to pack an antioxidant punch! Cranberries, juniper berries, and rosehips abound with Vitamin C as well as many other nutrients… we could write a whole post about juniper ‘berries’! We started by cooking the juniper berries and rosehips in a small amount of water to open them up and release their wonderful aromas and flavors, while we macerated the cranberries. We then added the cranberries to the juniper and rosehip mix and let the mixture cook low and slow, with a bit more water, for over an hour, before bringing the mixture to a rolling boil. We added a touch of organic vanilla toward the end, and the result is intensely fruity, but soft, and the juniper surprisingly does not overwhelm with its turpintiny bitter component.
Rather, the juniper adds a ‘woodsy’ depth to the mix and this is brightened with the quasi citrusy element of the rosehip, and finally it is all lightly grounded with the vanilla. The result is a conserve that is smooth in flavor, fully palate sating, and a small amount goes a very long way! This conserve is great with sharper cheeses such as a stilton, aged cheddar, goat cheese… and with spicy cured meats, fresh bread, or with kale chips and cheese as listed below in one of our recipe suggestions! It also makes a great salad dressing, as our good girl found out… and she shares the recipe below…in addition to what’s listed in the recipe you could add a splash of a white wine or champagne vinegar or white wine such as a riesling to brighten the fruit.
We wanted to share some recipes we like to make with our cranberry conserves. Enjoy!
The following recipes can be used with both the Chipotle Cranberry and the Cranberry Juniper Conserves available in a Vancouver store near you.
Cranberry Kale Crostini
– Graded Havarti Cheese
– Toasted Slices of Baguette
– Lightly Seasoned Kale Chips
– Cranberry Conserve
Method: Place each component on top of the crostini as desired.
Cranberry Salad Dressing
– 1 table spoon Cranberry Conserve
– 2 Tablespoons Grape seed Oil
– 2 Table spoons Parsly
Method: Toss in the food processor and drisle on salad.
Check out this great article on making sorbet, just replace the fruit with the cranberry conserve and voila!