There are (were) two bags of fresh cranberries mocking me from the top shelf of my fridge.
They know I’ve never cooked with fresh cranberries.
They know the only reason I bought TWO bags was because I needed half a cup for cocktails and I couldn’t resist the “buy one get one free” deal.
They know all these things and every time I open the refrigerator I hear them snicker at me.
That was the case until yesterday anyway.
I showed those cranberries who’s boss.
First I took them for a ride in the food processor. Tossed ’em around a bit and beat them up a little.
Then I threw them in a pot of boiling water and sugar and grated orange rind.
Then I drowned them in vodka and banished them to solitary confinement in the cool dark recesses of my kitchen cupboard.
Take THAT you silly, pompous, fresh cranberries!
I’ll see you on Christmas Eve in a glass of Prosecco.
Or on December 31st as I hand you off to the party hostess and wave. . . . Happy New Year cranberries.
Cranberry Liqueur (make ahead 3 weeks! Yeah, I know, I’m not leaving you with much time here – but get crackin’ and you can party with the cranberries on New Years too!)
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed Orange Juice (I actually used tangerines)
1 tablespoon freshly grated Orange rind
2 cups good Vodka
Combine water and sugar in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until all the sugar is dissolved; two to three minutes.
Add cranberries, orange juice, and orange rind.
Remove mixture from heat and cool slightly.
Add mixture to food processor and pulse a few times – just enough to break some of the berries open.
Pour into a glass or plastic container and seal tightly. Store in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks.
After three weeks, pour mixture through a fine sieve to strain. You may want to also strain a couple more times through cheese-cloth, depending on how much pulp you like in your liqueur.
Save the berries for another use (Frozen ice cubes? Dancing in my cocktail? Ice cream sundae? Jello shots? No, not really. . . maybe?)
Pour strained liqueur into glass bottles with an airtight seal.
Source: The Creative Culinary