Summer is officially over. Apples, pumpkins, squash and root vegetables have over taken the markets. Leaves are steadily dropping from the trees, birds are heading south and there is a noticeable nip in the air. Fall is here in full force. So imagine my surprise when Kaela at local kitchen announced that this month’s featured ingredient would be chiles.
Don’t get me wrong, I love chiles but I was expecting something a little less summer-y. The weather here has had me thinking of soups and oven-roasted meals for weeks and I’ve been thinking of Thanksgiving lately. Thanksgiving means cranberry sauce.
Last year I jarred up some Michigan cranberries into delicious, high-fructose-corn-syrup-free sauce. I made some with whole berries, and some smooth, jellied sauce that took on the shape of its jar so that the kids could have a cylinder of cranberry sauce just like they used to get from the grocery store.
But, I need to can chiles! Time to get creative. How can I combine chiles and cranberries?
I haven’t found any Michigan cranberries yet, but I did have two bags of cranberries left in the freezer from last fall. I dragged one out and turned it into this:
Festive Chile Pepper Cranberry Sauce
12 oz. frozen cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 large, mild red chile, diced
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 cup pinot noir
In a non-reactive saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil.
Add cranberries, diced peppers and lemon juice.
Return mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
Add wine and simmer five minutes more.
Pack hot jelly into hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace; process in a boiling water bath for five minutes.
This made enough to fill one 12 oz. jelly jar with enough leftover to sample.
I’ll definitely be making this again because this jar is already accounted for. The pepper flavor isn’t overwhelming but it has a kick. This was good straight out of the pan but would be really great on roast chicken, pork or turkey. I think it would also balance smoked poultry really nicely.