Monday, November 22, 2010

Making a Cranberry Syrup for a Glaze-Base

I have some fresh cranberries, as do many of us before Thanksgiving. I love the taste of cranberries but I do get tired of the same old cranberry recipes year after year. Additionally,  I do not have use of our oven until it gets repaired, so I am improvising and adapting several recipes in order to make them in my tabletop convection oven.

I decided to make some cranberry syrup to use as a glaze... one where I can add other flavorings (ginger, Curaçao, or whatever) to it as a recipe strikes my fancy, or by itself over pork, chicken or turkey. What I made is a very loose adaptation of an Epicurious recipe. I could have made a simple cranberry syrup thickened with corn starch, but I wanted to try this method.

I chopped about a cup of fresh cranberries in my mini-chopper and brought them just to a boil with 2/3 cup of water. Removed them from the heat, added a lid and left them to soak.

Next I put a scant half-cup of sugar in a small pan and slowly melted it down to a liquid that I allowed to caramelize. (I do the same thing when I make flan; the caramelized sugar goes in the bottom of custard cups before adding the custard.) The slightly cooked cranberries are next to the pot, ready to add as soon as the sugar caramelizes.

There is NO time to take a photo after adding the cranberries to the pot! I caution you that it will steam and hiss like crazy for a few moments. Stir the mixture until the caramelized sugar has 'melted; into the cranberry mixture.

Remove from heat and strain into a heat-proof jar while it is still hot. (As the sugared mixture cools, it will thicken.) I added about 1/3 cup of water while it was still hot, fearing it would harden before it was all strained. A mistake, I think. Next time, more sugar to caramelize, or less water... or both.

I decided to put the strained pulp on a piece of buttered foil to cool. The cooled pulp tastes just like a tart cranberry sauce, not as sweet or caramelized as I imagined. I have no idea what I will do with it! The syrup however, is quite nice even if it doesn't have the caramelized sugar overtones either. It will easily stand up to added flavorings, maybe I'll even cook some of it with sautéed shallots for a meat glaze...

Update: I used some of the pulp which I re-cooked, thickening it with more sugar and a pinch of ground ginger and drizzled it over some fresh pumpkin muffins. Tasty!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think about my posts! We all learn together.