It's cranberry time again. The season for these edible jewels is so short that it gives us an excuse to present them in a variety of ways. Fresh cranberries are available in markets from mid-September to late December. They may be refrigerated up to a month in the polyethylene bags in which they are packed, and they also freeze very successfully.
Some of the following recipes are suitable for hostess gifts or stocking stuffers. Others merely add a splash of color and piquant flavor to a festive dinner. Cape Cod Curried Cranberry Soup 4 cups chicken stock or broth 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup sugar 13/4 cups light cream 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1-2 tablespoons curry powder, or to taste Salt Pinch cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heat stock, cranberries, onion, and sugar in large saucepan to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes.
Mix cream, cornstarch, curry powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in small bowl until smooth. Stir into cranberry mixture. Simmer soup over low heat 10 minutes. Do not boil.
Remove from heat. Stir lemon juice into soup. Pur'ee a third at a time in blender or food processor. Strain, if desired. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.
Makes 6 1-cup servings. Spiced Cranberries 2 quarts cranberries 11/3 cups vinegar 2/3 cup water 6 cups sugar 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon ground cloves 1 tablespoon ground allspice
Pick over cranberries and wash. Place in large kettle and add remaining ingredients. Cook slowly over low heat for 45 minutes.
Pour into sterile jars and seal. Makes 3 pints. Cranberry Beets 1 1-pound can whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 teaspoon grated orange rind 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 cups cooked, diced, drained beets
Place cranberry sauce in medium pan. Heat over moderate heat until it melts. Add orange juice, orange rind, and salt. Mix well. Gently mix in beets. Heat until bubbly. Serves 6. Cranberry Ketchup 1 16-ounce bag cranberries, chopped fine or ground 13/4 cups sugar 1/3 cup cider vinegar 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon allspice 3/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt
In medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring 5 minutes or until mixture is thick.
Cool slightly. Store covered. Will keep refrigerated several weeks. Makes 3 cups. (Excellent accompaniment to meat.) Cranberry Conserve 4 cups cranberries 2/3 cup cold water 2/3 cup boiling water 1/4 pound raisins 1 orange, peeled, sliced, seeded, cut into small pieces 11/2 pounds sugar 1/2 pound walnut meats, cut in small bits
Pick over and wash cranberries, then put them in a large saucepan. Add cold water and cook until the skins break. Add boiling water, raisins, orange, and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Add walnuts and continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Put in sterilized jars and process in a hot-water bath. Unprocessed, this conserve will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 3 6-ounce glasses of conserve. Cranberry Whipped Topping for Puddings or Gingerbread 1 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup jellied cranberry sauce, crushed with a fork 1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
Whip cream until stiff. Fold in lemon juice. Lightly fold in crushed cranberry sauce and confectioners' sugar. Serve as topping for bread or steamed pudding or gingerbread. Sparkling Cranberry Punch 1 quart cranberries 1 quart water 2 cups sugar 1 cup orange juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 1 quart ginger ale
Cook together cranberries and water. Strain through wet cheesecloth. Add sugar and stir over heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool and add orange and lemon juice. Pour in ginger ale. Pour over block of ice in punch bowl.