Canned Citrus Cranberry Conserve

I had some leftover cranberries in the freezer that I have been meaning to get to and finally had some time today! I had enough for two different canning recipes- a whole cranberry sauce and a cranberry conserve! In case you have never had a conserve before, it is a chunky spread that is a mix of fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. They go great on pastries, cheese trays, or a garnish for meats.

What you need:

- 1 orange (with the peelings!), finely chopped and seeded

- 2 cups water

- 3 cups sugar

- 4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

- 1/2 cup raisins

- 1/2 chopped pecans (can substitute other nuts if desired)

- Canning jars and lids and canning set

Combine oranges and water in a large sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for five minutes until the peels soften. 

Add the cranberries, raisins, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Return to a boil on medium high heat stirring constantly. Boil hard for 10-15 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and do a gel test to see if it is ready. Stir in the nuts and continue to stir for 15 more minutes. Dip a spoon in and if the mixture sheets of instead of drips off then it is ready.

Ladle the mixture into sanitized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. 

This conserve is sweet and tangy...just right!

How to Preserve Citrus Slices

We had a bumper crop of satsuma oranges this year. Even after eating all that we could, giving some away to anyone who would take it, and making 24 jars of

satsuma jelly

, we still had more! I thought it would be nice to preserve some whole slice to use in salads or to just eat later in the year when we don't have any fresh citrus left. It turns out to be a really simple process! We used satsumas, but this can also be done with clementines or mandarins.

What you need:

- Sterilized canning jars and lids

- Sugar

- Water

- Citrus slices

Pick your citrus and peel it, separating it into segments. Depending on how much you are canning, this process may take a while. I am pretty fanatic about getting off all of the little white pieces which turn bitter when canned. If you have a lot to make and are as particular about that as I am, you may want to put on a movie and get comfy for this part. 

Once that is done, the rest of the process goes really quick. Cold pack the citrus segments into the sterilized jars. Really cram them in there! Then make a syrup by boiling a ratio of 2.5 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar. (You can play with this ratio if you want to make the syrup more or less sweet to your taste.) 

Pour the liquid in the jars over the fruit until full. Screw on the lids tightly. Finally, put the jars in a boiling water bath for 30 minuets. For the water bath, put the jars into a pot of boiling water that covers the tops of the jars by at least 1 inch.

And now you are done! You have some delicious citrus segments to use throughout the year, even when your fresh fruit isn't in season! I can;t wait to use this in a salad over the summer with some dried cranberries and pecans on top!