Are you tired of your usual cranberry sauce recipe? If so, this cranberry aigre-doux might be the answer to your search for a new version. I make a batch when cranberries are in plentiful in the stores. A few jars in the cupboard are wonderful to use as an unexpected relish at other times of the year. You might remember my recipe for mandarin aigre-doux, this is the same sweet and sour combination but using fresh cranberries.
Cranberry Aigre-Doux (makes 4 pints)
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons red table wine
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of honey
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 vanilla beans, split in half with seeds scraped out
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 4 star anise
- 6-7 cups of fresh cranberries (this is just about 2 packages)
- In a pot over medium-high heat, bring the wine, honey, vinegar, salt, and vanilla bean pods and seeds to a boil.
- Scald 4 pint jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack. You will use this pot to process them. Right before filling the jars, put the drained jars on the counter and fill each with 1 star anise and 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns. Pack in the cranberries. Meanwhile soak the lids in hot water to soften the rubber seal.
- Carefully pour the wine-honey liquid over the cranberries, leaving a 1/2 inch space from the rim of the jar. Check for air pockets by poking with a skewer and add more liquid as needed. Add a piece of each vanilla bean to each jar.
- Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids and screw on the bands to finger tight.
- Carefully transfer the jars to the pot of water, the water should cover them by 1 inch. Bring the water back to a boil and process the jars for 15 minutes, starting your timer when the water comes to a boil. Turn off the heat after 15 minutes but let the jars sit in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.
If you have questions about basic canning techniques, please consult the internet or a good canning cookbook.
To make a relish from the cranberry aigre-doux, strain the liquid and set aside the cranberries. In a small pot over medium heat, reduce the liquid by half. Stir the cranberries back into the liquid and serve warm.
I served this relish with my Thanksgiving Turkey Day Warm Up. It was a wonderful counterpoint to the richness of ground turkey and sweet potatoes.
I’m taking this to Fiesta Friday #95, hosted by Angie of the Novice Gardener. This week it is co-hosted by Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Petra @ Food Eat Love. Come and visit with us to see all the wonderful dishes being brought by the fabulous cooks at the party.
Wow Liz that is a great idea and looks really good! I would never think of making this!
I love cranberries and just saw the first ones in the shop the other day. I have to give this a go, it sounds delicious and something a little unusual and delicious for Christmas! Thank you for bringing this to Fiesta Friday, I feel inspired to cook with cranberries! 🙂
I took some to share at a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner and didn’t take any home. Be sure to reduce the sauce well or it will be quite tart if used right out of the jar.
I always buy a LOT of cranberries right before Thanksgiving and up to Christmas when they’re on sale and freeze them – I’m going to have to put this recipe, too, on my must make!
I do the same, stock up this time of year and put them in the freezer. Before using the cranberry aigre-doux be sure to drain them and boil down the sauce to a syrup. You can then combine them again. Otherwise it will be quite tart.
I made cranberry ketchup last year, it turned out pretty well although it is very tart.
I used to tell my kids they were the original sour patch candy!
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