Last week we were invited to a Christmas dinner, nothing unusual, these things happen this time of year. It was really nice, thanks Mike. We contributed by making cranberry sauce which was appreciated and we were asked for the recipe.
Cranberries are known locally as yaban mersini, not to be confused with kizilcik which are something completely different or kuş burnu which are rosehips. Fresh cranberries are generally not available but dried are so we bought a good quantity of dried cranberries on the market. Unlike packet ones these do not contain added sugar. Then Ashley poked around on the internet but did not find a good recipe for making cranberry sauce with dried cranberries. Nothing looked really good, but it did serve to inspire some ideas. The objective was to get the dried cranberries to swell up and then burst, achieving what is much easier when starting with fresh cranberries.
Method. None of the quantities here are critical.
Take two good handfuls of dried cranberries and put into a bowl. Add orange zest and sufficient orange juice to cover. Put to one side for a few hours or overnight. Then add a tablespoon of pomegranate sauce (Nar Eksili) – we used a village made sauce rather than the mass produced supermarket varieties. If you like to spice cranberry sauce this would be a good time to add spices. We added some finely chopped fresh ginger. This really is a matter of personal taste, cinnamon or allspice would also in our view be good. Transfer everything to a lidded saucepan and simmer as gently as possible. To get the cranberries to really swell and burst may take a couple of hours, if the lid does not fit tightly you may need to add some water, check this from time to time. Once they have burst gently reduce the sauce to desired thickness.
We have no idea how long it will keep for. Essentially it is preserved fruit so should be OK in a bottle in a fridge for some time. We don’t intend to try to find out, it is delicious and will be eaten within a day or two.
On the subject of condiments, especially those popular this time of season, we have fresh horseradish growing in a big pot – kept out of our limited garden space because it is really invasive. At some stage we are going to try making chrane (horseradish and beetroot) with it, when we are brave enough to face the task of grating fresh horseradish. Any tips on grating horseradish would be appreciated.