Cranberries Key facts Cranberries are a major crop in the US and Canada; as well as its role with the Christmas turkey, cranberry sauce is eaten at Thanksgiving in America; fresh cranberries can be frozen and will keep for up to nine months.
When the last of the autumn fruits have disappeared, November brings in a fresh crop of these dazzling scarlet berries with their rich juice and sharp flavour. Instead of just confining them to the Christmas turkey, I have included them in several recipes for you to try. We’ve also had great fun testing their freshness – to do this you bounce them, and the higher they bounce the fresher they are!

Cranberry jelly - I always keep cranberry jelly in my cupboard – it’s good as an instant accompaniment to chicken or game, or can be used in sauces.
Related Recipes
Cranberry and Onion Confit Serves 8-12

Cranberry and Onion Confit

A confit, as the name suggests, is a kind of sauce reduced to a concentrated, jam-like consistency. This one is a good accompaniment for all kinds of things at Christmas, as it keeps well in the fridge for four weeks.

Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries Serves 12 as part of the buffet

Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries

Good old rice salad is an absolute must at a buffet party. This one, made with wild rice, looks very pretty with the jewelled colours of the dried cranberries and nuts.

Rillettes of Duck with Confit of Cranberries Serves 6 as a starter

Rillettes of Duck with Confit of Cranberries

This is one of my favourite starters: a terrine of tiny shreds of tender, succulent duck melded together like a pâté, then served with the dazzling depth of colour and sharpness of a confit of cranberries to counteract the richness.

Terrine of Venison with Juniper and Pistachio Nuts and Cranberry and Orange Compote Serves 10-12

Terrine of Venison with Juniper and Pistachio Nuts and Cranberry and Orange Compote

This is just about the easiest terrine in the world to make because you can buy the venison and the pork ready minced. The result is a lovely, rough country pâté and the sharpness of the cranberries is the perfect accompaniment.

A Confit of Cranberries for serving with Game or Duck Serves 4

A Confit of Cranberries for serving with Game or Duck

The title says it all and this jewel-like confit is the perfect foil for the richness of game or duck - you could also serve it with cheeses and cold cuts at Christmas as a change from your usual chutney.

Spiced Cranberry and Claret Jelly Makes about one 17½ fl oz (500 ml) preserving jar

Spiced Cranberry and Claret Jelly

Subtly spiced, this wonderful jelly will give you a taste of Christmas all year round with roast meats, game, cheese or pate.

Spiced Cranberry Chutney Makes 2 x 1 lb (350 ml) capacity jars

Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Make this a month before Christmas so that the flavours can mature: brilliant with cheeses and cold meats.

Spiced Sauteed Red Cabbage with Cranberries Serves 4-6

Spiced Sauteed Red Cabbage with Cranberries

Sharp, jewel-like cranberries combine brilliantly with red cabbage, at Christmas and any other time. Make this to bring vibrant colour and flavour to your Sunday roast!

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat with Cranberries Makes 6 lb (2.75 kg)

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat with Cranberries

Surprisingly easy to make, this lovely mincemeat is bound to become a Christmas favourite. The addition of cranberries adds colour and flavour to a classic preserve that can be adapted easily for vegetarians.

Pot-roasted Partridges with Red Cabbage, Garlic and Juniper Serves 4

Pot-roasted Partridges with Red Cabbage, Garlic and Juniper

Plenty of autumnal or wintry flavour here, as juniper, red cabbage, partridge and garlic meld into one simply brilliant pot roast. Add jacket potatoes or mash!




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