Cranberry Pecan Conserve
An Accent for Poultry or Pork
- Servings: Makes about 3 cups.
Many of us love cranberry sauce but sometimes we want something different than the traditional raw relish or a plain, cooked sauce.
A conserve is cooked fruit that is similar to a sauce but has a consistency that is a bit more jam-like and is usually served soon after it's cooked. In this recipe, traditional cranberry flavors are combined with the crunch of toasted pecans, making a flavorful alternative to a traditional cranberry sauce.
There's no reason to only have cranberry flavors during the holidays so buy a few extra bags and keep them in your freezer. They keep nearly forever in the freezer and usually can go directly into a recipe without thawing.
- 4 cups rinsed whole cranberries (fresh or frozen) -- one 12-oz. bag
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel (use a rasper or Microplane)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (about 2 oz.)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, orange juice, water and grated orange rind.
- Put over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar completely dissoves.
- Add the cranberries, stir to combine, and cook over a medium-low heat until the berries pop, stirring occasionally. This takes about 5 minutes to get to a jam-like consistency.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
- Pour into a heat-proof bowl and let cool
- Refrigerate until you're ready to serve but bring to room temperature for the best flavor.
Tip: If the cranberries are frozen, don't bother to defrost them. Just give a quick rinse and pick them over to take out any stems and put the berries still icy and frozen right into the pot.
Tip: This conserve can be made up to 4 days ahead of when you'll serve it. Bring to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
Tip: Toast pecans by spreading them in a single layer in a sheet pan and baking them in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally and watch them closely so that they don't burn. They're usually done if you begin to detect the aroma of the toasted nuts.