Thursday, September 6, 2012

Highbush Cranberry Sauce



1 lb Highbush Cranberry
2 ¼ cup Sugar
¾ cup Water
¼ packet Pectin

Whilst on one of my forays into the bush I stumbled on these beauties among a few other treats I have yet to write about. Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) is actually not a cranberry at all, or even in the same family. The name comes from the fact that is looks, and tastes very similar to cranberries. It is not without its differences however. The highbush cranberry has a certain muskiness about it that, in fact when you are stemming, sorting, and boiling them down they smell a lot like a high school boys locker room -but dont let this stop you from giving it a shot. This plant was used extensively by Native Americans, is extremely high in vitamin C, and with a little sweetness can be quite tasty.

Start by stemming your berries, followed by a good wash!

Next, take the berries and put them into a pot with the water and bring to boil. While waiting for them to come to the boil grab your trusty potato masher and start squishing the berries. They will not squish like most berries and more or less pop and/or explode -be prepared for the ensuing cranberry atomic bomb going off on your stove.

After 10 minutes or so of simmering, put your highbush cranberries into a jelly bag or cheese cloth and let drain for a quite a few hours. If you are not overly concerned about the clarity of the sauce feel free to give it a squeeze to help it along.

Bring your highbush cranberry liquid back onto the stove, add pectin and sugar, bring to the boil.

Either let cool in a container and refrigerate until it “sets,” or follow the typical procedure for hot bath preservation.

*you may have to use more or less pectin to get desired consistency,  or use an immersion blender to break it up. It would also be acceptable to use gelatin or agar agar.


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