Holiday dinners and events can get hectic, even for the most veteran of hosts. There are so many little details and tasks that go into creating a beautiful Christmas dinner or holiday party. What if you could save yourself and others some time, AND have a delicious homemade gift in the process? Sounds like a plan to me! For this year’s Handmade Holidays Blog Hop, I cooked up a batch of scrumptious cranberry sauce. Filled with extra fruit and spiced to perfection, my recipe is a new take on an old favourite. Let’s talk turkey as I show you how to use it in your holiday gifting and cooking!
Turkey puns aside, what I really want to do is show you how this cranberry sauce can be transformed into a perfect hostess gift. Imagine if you could have all your hostess gifts for the holiday season made and ready by December 1st? Who’s with me?!
Somehow, the lowly cranberry sauce is always relegated to the place of an accompaniment to the pièce-de-resistance, the turkey. It can be so much more! I’m going to share with you an unexpected way to use it in an appetizer.
Fruit-Filled Cranberry Sauce
Makes approximately 12 cups (I filled 3 pint jars + 6 half-pint jars) | Print this recipe HERE!
1050 g fresh cranberries (350g bag x 3)
3 large peaches, skins on – chopped
3 navel oranges – chopped
2 cups orange juice
3 cups brown sugar – packed
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp cornstarch
Mason jars, lids, rings
- Prepare your jars, lids and rings by washing them thoroughly with hot water and soap, and then boiling them in hot water for at least 15 minutes. Even if you are going to freeze your sauce (as I did), you still need those jars to be really clean! For more information on the process of canning, please check out my Homemade Dill Pickles recipe.
- Wash the cranberries and peaches well in hot water. Chop the peaches (you can leave the skins on), and peel and chop the oranges.
- Combine cranberries, peaches, oranges, orange juice, sugar, and spices in a large pot. Bring the mix to a boil and simmer until it becomes thick but still juicy.
- Taste-test your sauce and add a bit more sugar if you prefer it sweeter, and more spices to your taste. Add the cornstarch (dissolved in cold water), 1 tsp at a time, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
- Carefully spoon the hot sauce into your boiled jars, leaving about 1.5-2″ of space at the top of the jar. Using tongs, place the lids on the jars and half-tighten the rings. Place the filled jars back into boiling water and process (simmer) for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water and cool. The lids should “pop” when they seal completely. Don’t panic if they don’t “pop”! This makes a great freezer recipe. Simply freeze your sauce until you are ready to gift or serve it. Unfrozen, the sauce will last approximately 10 days in the fridge.
I packaged my sauce for holiday gifting by covering the lid with a small square of red and white cotton, and tying it with a white satin ribbon. For some festive flare, I added a few jingle bells. 🙂
In case you want to add a tag to your gift, I’ve created FREE PRINTABLE GIFT TAGS, which include the list of ingredients! (Merry Christmas!)
Now for the really fun part… Serving your fruity cranberry sauce! While I love cranberry sauce with turkey (or ham, or chicken, or just about anything), it can be used in so many other creative ways. I went an untraditional route and used mine to top a baked brie. Here’s how to make it!
Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce and Maple Syrup
Round of Brie cheese
3-4 tbsp of Fruit-Filled Cranberry Sauce
Drizzle of maple syrup (yes, “drizzle” is the technical term!)
- Preheat your oven to 350°. Place the brie in a round baking dish.
2. Spoon 3 to 4 tbsp of sauce onto the top of the brie. Drizzle with maple syrup.
3. Bake the brie until it is soft and molten in the centre but the rind is still intact. I use the wobble test: if you take the dish out and shake it side to side, does the brie wobble freely? It’s probably done! 🙂
4. Serve with crackers or baguette slices. Enjoy!
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Now you can hop around to the other Handmade Holidays participants! This has been a three-day event, with plenty of inspiration for DIY gifts, decor, and foodie items. Hope you find some great holiday ideas!