How to Cook Cranberries

It's almost an American rite of passage to understand how to cook cranberries. One of the few fruits native to the continent, cranberries emerged as a dietary staple in the 1550s, eaten fresh, ground, mashed or baked into bread. Some of the preparation methods may have changed through the years, but one thing has remained constant: the use of a sweetener to balance the berry's tartness. Sugar and honey are almost always a part of cranberry recipes. Cranberries should be cooked until their skins burst; be sure not to overcook or they'll become bitter. According to the USDA, cranberries offer one of the highest levels of antioxidants compared to other fruits. Studies have also found they reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, maintain urinary tract health, and possibly even positively affect teeth and gums. Fresh cranberries are available September through December. If you plan on cooking with them during the off-season, simply pop the store-bought bags in the freezer--they will last between 9 and 12 months.
-Hey everyone! I'm Judith. Well, today, I'll be showing you how to make a Cranberry, Clementine, Pumpkin Seed Conserve. That's a tongue twister for you. Yes, we'll be making this fruity, flavorful, lovely, jolly. So, what you'll need for this is three clementines, one and a quarter cups of sugar, one cup of water, one 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, and half a cup of roasted pumpkin seeds. So, there are a few steps to making this conserve, but first of all, in a medium saucepan, we're gonna get it to a medium high heat and we're gonna add in our clementines, skin on, and we're gonna add in enough water to cover the clementines. So, we wanna get them fully covered. Now, we're gonna simmer this for about 8 minutes until the skin softens and it's easy to chop up. So, we let the clementines simmer there for about 8 minutes. We've drained them off and, now, we've let them cool. Make sure they're cool enough for you to be able to handle because, now, we're gonna give them a nice rough chop. So, everything should be much softer. The skin should be softer. We're just gonna chop them up roughly. It doesn't need to be anything pretty and you can remove any seeds that are there as well. Still a little hot, but it's all right. Not too bad. So, we'll do the same for all the clementines. So, once we've coarsely chopped our clementines, we can pop them back in our saucepan and we're gonna add in our sugar and our water now, so and it goes. That's gonna be lovely and sweet once we've got it simmer. Water goes on top there, that one cup. So, we'll get it to a medium heat, medium low, and we're gonna let that simmer now for about 30 minutes until the peel is nice and sweet. So, our clementines have been simmering for about 30 minutes now. They are nice and soft, and it's smelling absolutely fabulous in this kitchen. So, the next step is to cut in our cranberries, so in they go. We wanna cook them for about 6 minutes until they pop and squeeze and burst and release all of their flavor and color. So, we'll just mix that in a little. Wow! Look at those colors and flavors. And make sure it's on about a medium high heat and we're gonna let that cook for about 6 minutes. So, our cranberry and clementines have been cooking out there for another 6 minutes. The cranberries have popped. They've softened. They're all lovely and juicy and, honestly, this kitchen is smelling fantastic and it's looking just wonderful. [unk] you gotta look at this. So, we're gonna transfer this lovely thick mixture now into a bowl, scrape all the sides, get all of that lovely mixture in. Wow! Look at that. Now, we can cover that and let it refrigerate for up to 3 hours that it get nice and cold and then, after that, we can stir in the pumpkin seeds and it's ready to serve. So, we've taken our cranberry clementine preserved from the fridge. It's been in there for about 3 hours, nice and cold now, that is looking and smelling fantastic. So, before you serve that up, let's just fold in some of our roasted pumpkin seeds and it goes on. Look at that. Just beautiful. And this can-- could be kept in the refrigerator for up to two to three weeks. So, when you're ready to serve it, then you can fold in your pumpkin seeds. Oh, delicious. Really beautiful, colorful. What a fantastic conserve to make at home. So, there you go. That is how you make a cranberry, clementine, pumpkin seed conserve.

What You'll Need

  • 3   clementines

  • 1 1/4  cups sugar

  • 1   cup water

  • 1  12  ounce bag fresh cranberries

  • 1/2  cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Step By Step

In a medium saucepan, cover the clementines with water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately high heat until the skin softens, about 8 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Coarsely chop the whole clementines and discard any seeds. Wipe out the saucepan.
In the same saucepan, combine the chopped clementines with the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until the clementine peel is sweet, about 30 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook over moderately high heat until they burst, about 6 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. Fold in the pumpkin seeds and serve.
Make Ahead:
The conserve can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Fold in the pumpkin seeds just before serving.

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