It’s that time of year when we start getting set for the festive season. Things this year are bound to be a little different with our festive plans all hanging in the balance due to the pandemic and another lockdown, but now’s the time to get organised and take advantage of being stuck in with quieter days to do some of your food planning and prep, and cook some festive treats that will make your festive meals extra special.
Preserving is a great way of getting ahead and the wonderful smells will get you in the mood for a glass of mulled wine and a roaring fire.
Cranberry & Orange Jelly
I absolutely love cranberry jelly with festive meals, but I adore it with cold supper dishes and platters and it is a wonderful preserve to keep in your pantry as it can make a seemingly ordinary cold supper into something full of seasonal magic.
- 1 kg fresh cranberries
- 2 oranges, chopped with peel
- 700g jam sugar
- 4 tbsp port
Tip the cranberries and oranges into a preserving pan and add 1 litre of water. Gently heat, stirring frequently, for 30 mins until the berries are soft and easily crushed with the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat
Take a potato masher and gently squash all the fruit down
Allow the mixture to cool
Tip the cooled mixture into a jelly bag, suspended over a large bowl and strain overnight
The next day measure the strained liquid and in the event that you have less than 1.4 litres make up to 1.4 litres with cold water, if however you find you have liquid that is over 1.4 litres then reduce this down by boiling the liquid to evaporate the excess.
Sterilise your jars and put a saucer in the freezer
Return the liquid to the pan and add the sugar, stir with a long handled wooden spoon
Heat until the sugar has dissolved and bring to the boil
Allow to cook for 20 minutes
Start checking the set by dropping the mixture onto the chilled saucer.
When it has achieved set , when it wrinkles when you push your finger through it.
Add the port, stir and decant into the jars and leave to set