Thanksgiving came and went--we had friends over in our little Boston apartment and we visited family in the coal-topped hills of PA--yet we somehow didn't use our cranberries for Thanksgiving dinners.
In anticipation of the holidays, which we spent, for the first time, away from family and by ourselves in Boston, I made some cranberry jam. It perfectly triggered waves of nostalgia with its spicy scent and flavor.
(Adapted from Gourmet)
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 (12-oz) bag fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries (3 1/2 c.)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1/2 c. water
3-4 cloves All Spice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 nutmeg, grated*
* Ingredients I added
Scrape vanilla seeds from pod into a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add pod and remaining ingredients (All Spice, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, if including) and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).
Puree jam in food mill set over a bowl, discarding skins and pod (I actually kept the skins for a less jelly-like, more jam-like texture). Cool, stirring occasionally.