My record of making this conserve is hit or miss because I was arguing on the phone with a person who will be unnamed to protect the innocent------me. So, taking pictures was a hit or miss proposition. I was so preoccupied I forgot to add the raisins. But, I did remember to include the cranberries, so it turned out pretty good, when you consider that I was stirring and testing for the jellying point as I engaged in heated debate (with said unnamed person).
This is a conserve, which is pretty much a jam, with nuts and dried fruit added to it. Since this contains cranberries and an orange, both high in pectin, it should gel fairly easily. But, you never can tell with these things. In the event of gelling failure, you wind up with a lovely thick sauce for ice cream.
Here is the conserve boiling merrily away. Make sure you stir it to prevent sticking. I used to enter my jams and conserves in the County Fair and the judges were real sticklers about skimming the foam off. I don't worry about that since I'm not vying for blue ribbons anymore. Competition ruins the jamming experience.
A lot of people don't bother with the hot water bath, but I do. I'm an attorney, and you know how paranoid we are, seeing liability around every bend. But, many people don't do it anymore. If you don't, the jam can be stored in the fridge for a month. You can freeze it too.
Horribly out of focus picture, (I was preoccupied imagining strangling unnamed person) showing the conserve hours later after it cooled and was setting up. It can sometimes take several days before it gels.
Cranberry Conserve (Ball Blue Book)
Makes about 4 half pints
Do not reduce the amount of sugar. It could prevent the conserve from gelling properly. Do not double recipe! Do not pass Go! Do not collect $100.
3/4 cup seeded orange, chopped fairly small (about one medium orange)
2 cups water
1 quart stemmed cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I like to toast mine in the oven for about 10 minutes first)
Combine the orange and water in a large pot. Cook rapidly until the peel is tender, about 20 minutes. Add cranberries, raisins, and sugar. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly, almost to the jellying point, about 8 minutes (or longer), stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add nuts in the last few minutes of cooking. Pour hot into hot sterile jars, leaving about 1/4 inch head space. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Or keep in fridge. Can be frozen.
How I check for jellying point: Dip a cold metal spoon into the boiling liquid. In the beginning the liquid will be a light syrup and run off the spoon quickly. After more boiling, the drops of liquid will become larger and drop off the spoon two at a time (this is called sheeting). When the drops run together and fall off the spoon in a sheet, the jellying point has been reached.