Thanksgiving 2013 – Alton Brown’s Honey Cranberry Sauce

Alton Brown is my favorite Celebrity Chef, and this is his recipe for Honey Cranberry Sauce. He likes to mold sauce in a can, complete with ridges. I think it’s hilarious.

He’s my favorite because he LOVES to cook with honey! Also, all his recipes work!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail

1 cup honey

1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups

Directions

Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.

Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator, overturn the mold and slide out the sauce. Slice and serve.

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Almond Bark

It was probably inevitable that cranberries would be associated with Christmas. Their bright, shiny red color and their winter availability primed them for use on the table and the tree. Slow to spoil, they hold up for the entire twelve days of Christmas and longer.

The earliest American Christmas trees in the 1840s were decorated with homemade ornaments of fruits, nuts, candies, and other “sweetmeats,” and it could not have taken long for the woman of the house to thread a large needle and string cranberries with popped corn to make a red and white holiday garland.

  • 5oz of white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
  • Honey
  1. Re-hydrate cranberries in water over high heat in a small pot until they plump up, remove from heat and liquid, set aside let cool.
  2. Toast the almonds over medium low in a small pan, tossing frequently until they are a golden brown, remove from heat, give it a rough chop, set asid
  3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler with the water simmering. Stir with a rubber spatula until it becomes a smooth texture, immediately remove from heat and pour into a 9×9 sheet pan with parchment paper on the bottom, spread evenly.
  4. Working quickly sprinkle the almonds evenly over the chocolate, then the cranberries and lastly, working from the top corner to the bottom drizzle the honey quickly and horizontally, not too thick or it will be too sticky. A very thin layer will almost not be seen but will be tasted. Let chocolate set before breaking apart and placing in an air tight container.

Cranberry Week – Scalloped Sweet Potatoes With Cranberries and Honey

It’s the end of Cranberry Week.  Only one more recipe after this one.  But the important thing is to remember to:

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Honey

Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook potatoes until tender and drain; peel and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange slices in a baking dish. In a saucepan, mix cranberry sauce, water, honey, orange rind, and cinnamon. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add butter; stir until butter is melted. Pour cranberry mixture over potatoes, then bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until glazed and hot.

Cranberry Week – Honey Whole Cranberry Sauce

Per Susie’s request…  🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups

Directions

Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.

Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. . Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and serve.

Cheery Cranberry Cocktails

Have you ever noticed how many mixed drinks contain cranberry juice? Why is that, I wondered?  

The answer was easy to find. Cranberry juice is unique in that it can can be paired with a variety of flavors and will nearly always taste great.

In many mixed drinks cranberry juice is used to finish off a drink or to give it that “something special”. Cranberry juice’s sweet and tart flavor pairs well with practically any type of alcohol including vodka, gin, bourbon, rum and tequila. It even enhances the flavor of Champagne!

In addition to the drinks below, there is cranberry juice in The Samhain and also in The Bee-tini, which you can find in Cooking With Honey.

Honey Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1-ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 wedge lime
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Cranberries (frozen)

Directions

In a chilled Champagne flute add cranberry juice, honey and a squeeze of lime. Stir gently until honey is blended in.  Top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with 3 or 4 cranberries.

Honey Cranberry Slush

Photo courtesy of Amy Marrero Doyle

Ingredients 

1 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate

1/2 cup honey

juice of 1 lemon

1 (12 ounce) can chilled lemon-lime soda

1 cup bourbon

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the cranberry juice concentrate, honey, lemon juice, lemon-lime soda and bourbon. Cover and freeze overnight. It will remain slushy because of the bourbon. Scoop spoonfuls into small glasses to serve as a cocktail.

Recipe makes 6 servings

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

Cranberries were probably a part of the original Thanksgiving feast, although not in sauce form. The Native Americans used them for food, medicine, and even dye. Most importantly, cranberries were used as a preservative because they contain benzoic acid, so they added the fruit to meats and grains to extend their shelf life. General Ulysses S. Grant ordered cranberry sauce to be served to his troops in 1864, probably to prevent scurvy during the winter. It was first put into cans in 1912 by a company that eventually came to be known as Ocean Spray. 

Ingredients:

6 ounces of white chocolate chips

3/4 cup of softened butter

1 cup of honey

4 eggs

1/2 cup of cake flour

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of orange zest

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries

Cream  butter and honey until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in orange zest, juice and baking powder. Slowly add flours, scraping the sides after each addition. Lastly add cranberries and white chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Frosting and Cranberry Drizzle:

1/2 can of whole cranberry jelly

1/4 cup of cranberry juice

2 tablespoons of honey

8 ounces of white chocolate

1 cup of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of milk

3-4 cups of powdered sugar (or until desired consistency)

Melt white chocolate on a double broiler and set aside, cool completely before using.

In a clean pan add cranberry juice, honey and whole cranberry jelly and heat. Whisk and stir until smooth and blended. Set aside and let it cool completely before using as a drizzle.

In a mixing bowl cream butter until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Beat in white chocolate until smooth and blended. Add vanilla and milk and mix thoroughly. Lastly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time scraping the sides of your bowl. Add powdered sugar until you reach the consistency you like. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before frosting.

Frost cool cupcakes and drizzle with cranberry syrup.

Cranberry Week – Roast Duck With Honey Cranberry Glaze

Did you know that cranberries help prevent stomach ulcers?  Most peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori. Cranberries havebeen shown to inhibit the adhesion of these bacteria to the stomach lining. With 25 million Americans suffering from peptic ulcers in their lifetime, this is a significant health problem.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 4-pound duck
  • 1 3-inch strip of orange peel
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Rinse the cranberries carefully under running water and pick them over to remove any that have spoiled.

Mix one cup of cranberries,1/2 cup of the honey and one-half cup of water in a small saucepan and cook, simmering, until the cranberries are very soft. Strain through a sieve into a small bowl. The honey liquid is the glaze for the duck.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the gizzard, heart and liver from the duck and set aside. Put the orange peel, half the onion and about half a teaspoon of salt and pepper in the cavity.

Paint the duck with a little of the cranberry glaze.Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, paint the surface with a little of the cranberry glaze.

Remove the duck from the oven and prick the skin all over with a fork to release the fat. Return to the oven and continue roasting, painting every 15 minutes with the glaze, for a total of two hours.

While the duck is roasting, make a broth with the innards: Roughly chop the remaining half onion and the duck innards. Place in a small saucepan with the wine, another half teaspoon of salt and pepper and a cup of water. Simmer gently for an hour or more, until the broth is reduced to approximately one-half cup of flavorful liquid. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

Mix the remaining half cup of cranberries with the remaining half cup of water, the remaining honey and the balsamic vinegar. Cook together for 10 minutes until the mixture is syrupy. Set aside.

When the duck has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and set aside. It should be a beautiful dark-red color.

Strain the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and carefully remove the duck fat that floats to the top. (Do not discard: duck fat is wonderful for roasting or frying potatoes.) Add the innard broth to the roasting juices and use this to deglaze the roasting pan, scraping up the roasting bits that have stuck to the pan. Strain the whole through a fine sieve and place in a small saucepan.

Add the cranberry-vinegar syrup to the pan juices and broth. If there is any glaze remaining, add that to the mixture and bring the whole to a simmer just to warm it and mix everything together.

Carve the duck if you wish, or send it whole to the table, together with the warm cranberry sauce.

YIELD

4 – 6 servings

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Brie Bites

Did you know that cranberries fight cancer by significantly lowering the incidence of cancer cells in tumor development?

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 1 brie triangle, chilled

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Thaw puffy pastry sheet flat. Cut puff pastry sheet into approximately 3-inch squares and place them into mini muffin tins, pressing them into the shape of the muffin hole. Place a 1-inch slice of brie in the center of each puff pastry and then top it with approximately 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce.

Bake 10 minutes or until puff pastry corners are toasted light brown. Let cool 5 minutes and top with 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon of honey before serving.

Yield:  20 bites

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Creme Brulee

Did you know that cranberries have an anti-aging ability to protect brain cells from free radical damage and the subsequent motor and cognitive function losses?

Ingredients

  • 16 tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean, preferably Tahitian
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg plus 8 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar (see tip)*

Directions

Spoon 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce into each of 8 (4-ounce) ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine the half-and half, vanilla bean, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat just until scalded; do not allow the mixture to boil.

Fill a large bowl with water and add ice. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg, egg yolks, and honey and mix. Gradually stir in the scalded half-and-half mixture and place the smaller bowl in the bowl of ice water to cool completely. Stir in the heavy cream and top equally the cranberry prepped ramekins. Place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them and add enough hot water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake until the custard is set but still quivers in the center, about 35 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water and refrigerate to cool completely.

Preheat the broiler, if using. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar on top of each custard, spread over the surface, and tap out any excess. Place the ramekins on a broiling tray and broil until the top is melted and caramelized, about 30 seconds. Watch carefully; the sugar can burn easily. If using a torch (see Tip), pass the flame about 2 inches over the surface of the custards until the sugar is completely caramelized. Serve while the sugar is still warm.

* If using a torch, replace the superfine sugar with raw sugar, which caramelizes more successfully under a torch flame.

Cranberry Week – Honey Cranberry Spinach Salad With Bacon, Blue Cheese and Pecans

 

Did you know that cranberries promote heart health?  Cranberries are high in flavonoids that reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis which reduces blood flow within the arteries. Ongoing research continues to suggest that cranberries may offer a natural defense against arteriosclerosis, which can lead to heart attacks, angina and blood clots.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound hickory smoked bacon slices, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 (6-ounce) containers baby spinach
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Danish blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fry chopped bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined 1/4-sheet tray to drain.

Toast pecans in the oven on a 1/4-sheet tray until lightly golden and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

In a medium bowl mash the blue cheese with a fork. Mix in the buttermilk, sour cream, honey, salt and pepper, to taste.

Combine baby spinach, red onion, pecans, dried cranberries and bacon in large bowl. Toss with the dressing immediately before serving.

Serves 4.