Friday, November 30, 2012

Brandied Cranberries

Last year's post: chicken chow mein
My friend Terry gave me a jar of these brandied cranberries a few years ago and they were delicious as well as beautiful.  Her mother Charline makes them every year when fresh cranberries are available, and she very graciously gave me the recipe as well as permission to publish it.  Thank you Charline!!  The cranberries are excellent on toast or English muffins as well as mixed with yogurt or spooned onto pancakes.  Think of them as sort of like cranberry jam, except with whole fruit.  Cranberries are full of antioxidants and early research results show that they may even increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol, although I'm not sure how that translates to cranberries cooked with sugar.  Plus, you gotta love any recipe that has only three ingredients and one is brandy.

This would make a great gift during the holiday season if you're looking to give something homemade.  The recipe is very easy and makes about 3 small jars with no hot water canning required. (I followed food safety practices by washing the jars on the high temperature cycle of my dishwasher and filling the hot jars with hot cranberries before sealing and letting them cool on the counter.) If you want to make more as gifts I would suggest making several batches as opposed to one large batch because the foil pouch of hot cranberries could become pretty unwieldy.  I've never personally been burned by hot cranberries but somehow I don't think it would be fun. 

I used to work in a pizza parlor in another life and I can tell you from direct experience that melted cheese on a pizza straight out of an 700 degree oven can give you one heck of a burn, especially when you stick your thumb directly into it (by accident).  The cranberries sort of seem similar for some reason.  I received a larger and even more impressive burn by backing into the red-hot muffler of a motorcycle with my bare leg one time in Hawaii (in yet another life) but that doesn't seem quite as similar.  Yes, I am a klutz.

click here for a printable recipe

Brandied Cranberries
Makes 3 half-pint jars

1 (16 oz) package raw fresh cranberries
2 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons brandy
Heavy duty aluminum foil
Clean glass half-pint jars
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Rinse and drain cranberries.  Put cranberries in a large bowl and toss with the sugar.
Layer two large sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil on a large rimmed baking sheet and spoon the sugar and cranberries in the middle of the foil.  Fold all sides up and seal tightly.

 Bake on a center rack for 1 hour.  Open carefully and pour in the brandy, then stir gently with a spoon until all sugar is dissolved and brandy is mixed in thoroughly. 
Place in jars and let cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to two months.

No comments: