Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cranberry Gel Oh!

You can thank my sister for todays post inspiration. She sent me a fun email titled “Cranberry 3 Ways” It is not as sexy as it sounds. It had her two different cranberry sauce recipes from Thanksgiving (yes two! She is an overachiever) and my favorite, a cranberry inspired mixer. For Thanksgiving she made a traditional style sauce and a raw cranberry relish, both were so yummy! She also realized cranberry relish + vodka = delicious! That’s how we get down during family time. I plan on making her “Holiday Totty” for an upcoming party so be on the look out. 

I was cruising the markdowns in the produce section and I found a perfect pint of cranberries, so I bought them with no real intention. Then when I got my sisters email I figured I had to make cranberries yet another way. Cranberries have a lot of natural pectin and will make a nice gel when cooked but I wanted cranberry Jell-O! I’m not much for the over sweetened canned variety so I came up with this tart and refreshing cranberry gel, for your holiday or anytime.

Cranberry Gel Oh!

Gluten Free
1 pint of fresh cranberries
2 sweet variety apples
2 oranges for 1 cup of juice plus 1 tsp of zest
1-2 lemons for ½ cup of juice
1 chunk of ginger, about 1 by 2 inches
2-4 tbl maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbl grass fed beef gelatin
1 cup cool water

Mercury is the official apple taster in our house
Rinse cranberries and remove any soft ones.  Add the clean cranberries to a pot. Core apples and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped, then add them to the pot. Zest the oranges and add the zest to the pot and then juice them and add the juice ( I got almost exactly 1 cup from two oranges). Juice the lemon and add it to the pot, I had a particularly juicy lemon so I got half a cup from one. Peel the ginger and dice it fine then add it with the spices to the pot. Cook on medium heat until the cranberries start to pop, then turn the heat down some and let it simmer until most of the cranberries have popped or can easily be mashed with your spoon. It took me about 12 minutes. In the mean time mix two tablespoons of gelatin with 1 cup of cool water. Let the gelatin ‘bloom’, this helps prevent it from being grainy or clumping. Once the cranberry mixture is ready you can turn off the heat and add your gelatin mixture. Stir well to completely dissolve the gelatin. Your mix should turn a pretty pink color. Add in maple syrup to your desired sweetness, 2 tablespoons did it for me. Pour the mixture into any pan and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours until it firms up. I oiled my pan with some coconut oil to make it easier to remove. Use a spoon to break up the gel or cut it into cubes. I enjoyed it with a nice glass of red wine.
Before the cranberries burst
After the cranberries burst and mixed

Notes and Substitutions
  • You could do any sweetener of choice
  • I used cinnamon and nutmeg but I think clove and/or cardamom would also be great
  • If you want to make a vegan version you could use agar flakes instead of the gelatin 

How do you prepare cranberries? 

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