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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cranberry jelly

My husband is a cranberry jelly fiend.  It's not a holiday meal (*a*n*y* holiday) without cranberry jelly. I love homemade cooking (duh, right?) but it's one thing he will not get on board with me making homemade.  Cuz nothing is as good as the slices of Ocean Spray canned cranberry jelly. Pthbthbthb.

This year, I found a game-changing recipe.  It's dye-free (important at our house these days, though I don't know for sure whether canned cranberry jelly typically has artificial dyes...didn't buy any this year, didn't check), and uses honey instead of refined sugar.  Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, loved it.  The baby, the boys, my husband, even the especially picky eaters at my table.  It does like strongly of honey, unlike commercial canned jelly which tastes like white sugar. So if honey's not your thing, you might try using a lighter-flavored sweetening syrup like agave or rice syrup.

I did not do this insanely genius thing from Food52, but the next time I make this recipe, I totally will.  It will make it an even better "copycat" of the store bought jelly.  I'm curious to try Food52's pectin-based recipe vs. this gelatin-based recipe, but either way, molding the jelly in a recycling tin can is brilliant.

After you simmer the cranberries for their juice, you're left with a fair bit of cranberry squish.  Use it again to flavor a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar) for cocktails, or put the cranberry squish in with a bottle of vodka to make flavored vodka (also for cocktails).  Or add some to your next smoothie.  Just be advised that cranberries have very little natural sweetness, so you'll have to compensate with your other flavors and ingredients.

Original recipe from: The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook by Pamela Compart

Cranberry Jelly
Makes a lot

4 cups cranberries (12 oz. = 3 cups)
2 cups water
3 pkgs gelatin + 1/2 cup cold water
1 3/4 cup honey

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water in a mixing bowl.

Simmer berries and water for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, saving juice and discarding solids.

Pour juice over gelatin, and whisk.  Stir in honey.  Fridge until set. Pin It

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