For years I have made a great big bowl of cranberry sauce with every holiday turkey, only to watch family and guests (me included) take a polite nibble and leave the rest. The bowl sits in the fridge for a week or two, untouched, before someone puts us out of its misery and tosses it out.
Not this year. Adding a little port and cinnamon to traditional cranberry sauce elevates it from a mandatory, but barely touched, condiment to an exotic attraction, equally good with roast pork or on a cheese platter. Canning the sauce means you’ll have a jar to give away or save for Christmas, if you can resist opening it earlier.
Port and cinnamon cranberry sauce
(adapted from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard)
Makes 2 1 cup jars
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup port
2 cinnamon sticks, about 3-inches long
Bring sugar, water and vinegar to a boil in a medium stainless steel pot over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add port and stir to combine.
Place a cinnamon stick in each jar.
Place lids (but not screw bands) in very hot (not boiling) water for a few minutes to soften seal. Quickly pour hot cranberry sauce into hot, clean 250 millilitre (1 cup) jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove jars, cool on the counter for 24 hours, check seal (keep any that haven’t sealed in the fridge and enjoy them over the next couple of months) and store.
Read more about safe canning here