Cranberry quince relish
I admit it – I love (LOVE!) that jellied cranberry sauce in a can. Love how it floops out of the can whole, with the ring marks on the side. Love the texture – that weird smooth “apple-pulpiness”. Having a spare can in the pantry soothes me. Remember the cranberry crisis a few years back?? I got through it okay, due to my emergency can.
This year, I was smitten and overwhelmed by a 3-lb bag of whole fresh cranberries, which I bought and then stared at for two weeks. I knew I’d be making cranberry sauce, but put it off until Thanksgiving day. Which was a good thing! Because if I’d known how good this stuff was going to be, I would have made and eaten 3 batches by the time turkey day rolled around.
Hat tip to AW for cluing me in on using port for the cooking liquid!
4 dry cups of raw fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1 cup peeled, cored, and roughly diced quince
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup port
1/4 cup creme de cassis (adds a black currant note, but just use port if you don’t have any in the house)
1 generous grind of black pepper
1 chunk of ginger, peeled if fresh, as is if dried
opt: 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Slowly simmer the diced quince in 1 cup of water until tender (approx. 30 minutes). The water will reduce to about 1/2 cup and the quince will turn a salmon pink.
Put the cranberries and sugar in a large stainless saucepan. Pour in the port and cassis, then add the quince with its remaining cooking liquid. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar. Add the grind of black pepper, then put the piece of ginger into the pot (you will need to be able to identify it and remove it later!). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. The pectin from the berries and quince will make this tend to boil up, so keep an eye on it and stir it down if necessary. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the berries have softened or popped and the mixture thickens. Allow to cool, take out the chunk of ginger, then stir in the optional chopped pecans. Serve warm or chilled.
Excellent with turkey, but also will be great with pork or sharp cheese or possibly lamb. Pretty tasty by itself, with just you and a spoon.