- These shiny scarlet berries are grown in huge, sandy bogs on low, trailing vines. They’re also called bounce berries, because ripe ones bounce, and crane berries, after the shape of the shrub’s pale pink blossoms, which resemble the heads of the cranes often seen wading through the cranberry bogs. Cranberries grow wild in northern Europe and in the northern climes of North America, where they are also extensively cultivated — mainly in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon. Harvested between Labor Day and Halloween, the peak market period for cranberries is from October through December.Any cranberries that are discolored or shriveled should be discarded. Cranberries can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for at least two months or frozen up to a year. Besides the traditional cranberry sauce, this fruit also makes delicious chutneys, pies, cobblers and other desserts. Because of their extreme tartness, cranberries are best combined with other fruits, such as apples or dried apricots. Canned cranberry sauce — jelled and whole-berry — is available year-round, as are frozen cranberries in some markets. Sweetened dried cranberries, which can be used like raisins in baked goods or as snacks, are also available in most supermarkets. Fresh cranberries are very high in vitamin C.
- 3 pounds fresh cranberries (about 12-14 cups)
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Methods: Prepare a boiling water bath and necessary jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.
- Combine all the ingredients such as the cranberries, sugar, cider, and orange and lemon juice and zest in a large pot (use a big one, this jam will bubble) or a non-reactive saucepan over high heat.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that develops on the top of the fruit. Bring to a simmer and reduce by two-thirds or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam. Remember to keep the heat low to prevent the jam from burning (aproximitely cook for 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries pop).
- Add the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and stir to combine.
- Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the jam looks quite thick. If it appears to be thickening too much before all the cranberries are popped, add a splash of water to loosen.
- Ladle jam into jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.