All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Savory cherry and cranberry jelly with basil

I made up a jelly last night thinking to use up the frozen cranberries I'd stashed in the freezer last fall.  I added a handful of frozen, unsweetened dark cherries, and a few sprigs of basil.  Instead of reviewing my 20 minute jam recipe, I plunged ahead and added equal parts water and sugar, plus lemon juice.  I simmered for maybe 20 minutes, took a quick reading with the candy thermometer, and took it off heat before it reached 240 degrees.

While the jelly was tasty and tangy it was a little softer than usual - fine for poached chicken sandwiches, but not quite as firm as I expected.  It made a little over one jar of jelly, which I think I might try on roasted chicken, brushed on halfway between raw and sizzling.  And now I see what went wrong - adding water, though cranberries tend to the dry side.  Next time I'll try half cranberries, half cherries, with half the water and a little more sugar, and making sure the temperature reaches 240 degrees.  Here is the recipe I used, made up spur of the moment:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 cup frozen dark unsweetened cherries
3 T. fresh lemon juice
8 or so fresh basil leaves

Bring water, lemon juice, and sugar to a boil.  Stir in the cranberries and cherries and basil leaves.  Make sure you have a candy thermometer on hand and simmer/slow boil until it reaches 240 degrees.   Remove basil leaves if desired, strain into a pitcher (discard the solids) then pour immediately into a clean jar, let cool, then cap and keep in the fridge for instant appetizers (on Breton crackers), or as a glaze.  Equally good on chicken sandwiches or sweet butter and jelly sandwiches, or served up with goat cheese toasts  - such a pretty color!

Yesterday as I drove into the driveway, I caught a glimpse of a young deer just across the road, not 25 feet from me.  It didn't seem alarmed by the car, but I think I would have scared it off had I opened the door - so I sat in the car and watched it grazing on greenery.  The little yellow kindergarten bus went by, not ten feet away, and it didn't even blink.  Even though I now know who's been munching my little garden the last few years, I couldn't be cross with this reminder of wildness.  I only wish I could've gotten a picture of the deer, but it would've been long gone as I opened my door, but here is where it was grazing!


Donna C. said...

I think it would be great on a bagel with cream cheese or as a glaze for a pork tenderloin too.

katrina said...

I think you're right, as always, Donna! That tangy jelly glaze would be delicious with pork - and now you've got me hungry, again.

La Table De Nana said...

It really is pretty:-)
I was searching for the deer!
Last year one leaped in front of my car to cross the word..quite a feeling:-)
So relieved we were each not a moment sooner.

katrina said...

Nana - of course it was one of those times I didn't have my camera in the car:)
Ugh - I had a close call years ago with a very large deer, glad we both were lucky. Deer collisions seem to be year round around here in the country, not something I'd want to experience.

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Nurunnahar Amily said...

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