For the Thanksgiving table, nothing could be finer than Yukon cranberries prepared with the zing of oranges. This is a very simple, very delicious way to celebrate the bounty of our Yukon forest.
Conserves are really rather runny jams made with fruit and sugar. Sometimes nuts and dried fruits such as raisins are used. This version uses a little less sugar, allowing the tart taste of cranberries to shine through. If you find it too tart, add more sweetener.
Serve warm as a thick sauce or place into canning jars and process for later use.
Yukon Cranberry Conserve
4 cups low bush cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar or honey
1 orange, peel and all, chopped finely (remove any seeds)
Place cranberries and sugar (or honey) into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Finely chop the orange – a food processor will make light of the work. Add the orange to the saucepan.
Heat, stirring constantly until berries start to pop and sauce comes to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Your kitchen will smell wonderful.
Cool the sauce and then transfer to your prettiest serving dish. Goes nicely with traditional turkey or wild meats.
Yield = 4 cups of sauce
Here is another way to conserve those cranberries. Great for the lunch box or for after-school snacks. Yum-mee.
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons grated orange zest (rind)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats (quick oats or whole oats)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh low bush cranberries
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
granulated sugar for pressing
In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and cream till batter is very fluffy. Add in vanilla and orange zest and continue to blend.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, soda and salt. Add to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing just until blended.
Add in cranberries and mix gently.
Add in pecans.
Portion dough by tablespoons onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
Using a fork dipped in granulated sugar, press horizontally and then vertically, making cross-hatches to flatten each cookie.
Yield = 2 dozen cookies