Quince & cranberry holiday preserves

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Remember that red stuff in a can that used to add just the right sour-sweetness to the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes? of course you do. this could most certainly be enjoyed with all of the above mentioned pairings. and though it has the traditional tart-sweet flavor, the quince and candied ginger add a toothsome chutney-esque zing. plus i can’t stop eating it on top of chevre each morning ever since it’s inception. and i can only imagine it slathered across one of those warmed holiday brie wheels, or nestled comfortably inside the indent of a nut-and-buttery thumbprint cookie.

to top all of this off, it’s about the simplest preserve i’ve ever made. so if you’ve been thinking about learning how to jam, then i say this one is for you. now just imagine arriving, on thanksgiving day, or another some-such winter holiday feast, with a jar or two of this delight up your sleeve.

If word gets out you might just find yourself invited to a tad more of those little shindigs come next holiday season, and you certainly want that don’t you? of course you do.

Quince & cranberry holiday preserves

2 & 1/2 pounds fresh cranberries
1 & 3/4 pounds quince, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
6 ounces candied ginger, sliced very thin
5 cups sugar
5 cups water
pint and half pint mason jars

yield: approximately 6 pints

1. place 2 or 3 small plates in freezer to test set later on, prepare jars for hot water bath processing. no need to sterilize as processing time is 10 minutes.

2. place sugar and water in a non-reactive (stainless steel, or enameled cast iron) pan and heat on low until sugar is dissolved, turn up heat and bring to the boil.

3. once boiled, add quince and bring to the boil again. lower heat and simmer for a good hour until quince turn red and syrup begins to thicken.

4. add candied ginger slices and whole cranberries, bring to the boil, continue boiling on medium-high until the cranberries pop and soften. cook until set, approximately 20 minutes. test set by placing a teaspoon full on a frozen plate. put plate back in freezer for 30 seconds, run finger through, if it wrinkles even slightly under your finger it is set. make sure to turn the stove off as you are testing as you don’t want to over set it as you are testing. if on the first try you find the it is not set, turn up the heat and try again in another minute or two.

5. fill jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and hot water bath process for 10 minutes.

you can easily cut this recipe in half, forgo the canning part, and slide it right into the fridge for use during the holiday season if you don’t feel like getting your hands wet just yet!

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