WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Corn free Jellied Cranberry Sauce

No need for gelatin. Was watching Alton Brown and figured out I am overcooking the cranberries- you must NOT cook them for longer then 15 minutes or you will damage the natural pectins in cranberries. Also, you MUST add enough lemon juice and sugar. Sugar was not an issue, but I did add 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.. and by the time I was pouring it to cool it was already solidifying! Go Alton Brown!

Super easy!

I have admitted before that we like our sugar, and during past Thanksgivings you might have caught me eating a can of cranberry jelly straight out of the can! Loved that stuff. Of course last year I read the label- big mistake! Pretty much corn syrup in a can! No way can Abby go near that stuff!

Cranberries aren't a safe food(on the histamine list) for Abby, though she isn't allergic- but I decided just in case she felt like sneaking a bite I would make these safe and frankly, I cannot imagine Thanksgiving without them. I would feel like such a traitor to eat canned ones around her..besides, we are all noticing we feel better without the corn in our diets.

I have been kind of dreading this experiment.. over the years of family holiday meals as a kid, someone always decided that making homemade cranberry sauce was a good idea- and rarely was it! Always too tart, not enough sugar and they always left the berries whole which I can so do without! Nothing worse then chunks of thick skin,or stems, or other debris in my cranberries! I like sweet jelly and on Thanksgiving I am going to eat it! My family always made everything from scratch, even the stuffing, but the one item that was always store bought was that beloved cranberry jelly! For the first time, I have found a homemade version that I will gladly eat :-)

Poked around at a few blogs and came up with my own brew this morning, pretty happy with the results and shocked at how easy it is to make firm,smooth and sweet cranberry jelly.

2 3/4 cups Water
1 12-oz package fresh cranberries;
2 1/2 cups Sugar(more or less to taste. I added somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 cups,I just kept pouring in the sugar as I tasted so did not measure much past 2 cups, as I said we like it sweet! )
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.
(2 packets knox unflavored gelatin plus 1/4 cup cold water. if it doesn't set, you can fix with gelatin)

First, put unflavored gelatin in the 1/4 cup cold water to "bloom". Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the cranberries and boil over moderately high heat(I boiled too hard and too much water evaporated, I just added a 1/2 cup of water to the hot berries before I threw them in the Ninja), stirring occasionally, for NO MORE then 15 minutes. (Alton Brown says, more then 15 damages the natural pectins)
Puree the cranberries in a food processor and strain.(I tried a couple different strainers before I found the one with the right size screen- you want larger mesh, a fine mesh clogged up to badly to let the smooth juice/pulp through)
Return the puree to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes. Take it off the heat as soon as the sugar as dissolved and pour into container.

My first batch Without the gelatin, was more a "sauce". I wanted fake OceanSpray's jellied cranberry Sauce. I wanted that artificially bouncy unnatural form of cranberry! Which lead me to add the gelatin- Presto! Next I will try using Agar, Abby cannot eat the unflavored knox gelatin(corn clean, so we aren't sure why she reacts, some other intolerance/allergy at work.)so I have been playing with Agar. I will need to try again soon if I want to master this for her in time for Thanksgiving!

My final batch using the lemon juice, and cooking no longer then 15 minutes gave me perfect jiggle with no gelatin!


Jenna said...

That is awesome you found something to substitute. Are you also going to make some kind of stuffing?

Diane said...

Yes, stuffing ! Gluten free bread cubes, homemade chicken broth, fresh sage, salt and pepper, sauteed onion.. she likes just a tiny touch of peach juice- sounds terrible right? but peach and sage go super well together. :-) She cannot eat turkey so we already have a fresh/frozen fat roasting chicken in the freezer that is clean of corn, soy preservatives etc. gluten free dinner rolls, twice baked potatoes(made with coconut milk sour cream)fresh green beans, cranberries, and sweet potato pie! Best part, not only clean of all chemicals and the zillion foods that make her sick, it tastes better too! :-) Glad my family always made most of our food from scratch, I have just had to learn how to "tweak" our food. :-)

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