‘Tis the season for wonderful, healthy Cranberries – fresh from Maine. The raw berries are bitter-tasting but full of powerful antioxidants. I will add some unprocessed sugar and orange flavoring to make a tasty syrup to use in healthy plant-based baking. The cranberries will gel from their natural pectin, causing the sauce to thicken. The color and texture of the cranberry syrup is stunning, the translucent berries are especially captivating for a photographer.
SIMPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE (to be used in desserts):
Quantity: After cooking, makes about 1 cup sauce.
2 cups raw cranberries, wash and sort
1/3 cup sugar-in-the-raw type sweetener (or to taste)
1/3 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or 100% juice)
1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
So easy to make Cranberry Sauce: Add sugar, orange juice and Grand Marnier to a small skillet. Stir and heat until sugar dissolves. Add raw cranberries, stir gently, bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Some of the berries will pop. Don’t over stir or over cook, leave some berries whole.
FALL is in the air, that means Pennsylvania APPLES! Did you know that PA is the 4th leading state in the United States which produces APPLES? Furthermore, Franklin County is the 2nd top producer of apples in PA (after Adams County). Aren’t we lucky to live in this fertile valley and have fresh fruit available many months of the year! Beautiful orchards lined with rows of apple trees grace the landscape.
Apples are raised to use for the fresh market as well as for processed products. For us Pennsylvanians, fresh locally grown apples can be found in September and into the winter months.
HOW TO MAKE APPLESAUCE IN A CROCK POT.
Many varieties of apples are available…today we will be making applesauce with Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Cortland. But use any variety which satisfies your taste buds. I like to mix one sweet type apple, like Golden Delicious, with various other apples to give the applesauce more complexity. Of course there are a variety of methods to cook apples but the day the video was shot I had purchased a number of bags of seconds so I used a large slow-cooker (crock pot) to cook up a batch of applesauce.
Directions to cook applesauce in a crock pot:
Scrub, quarter and core apples (I do not peel to retain more nutritional value and I don’t mind if the applesauce is not totally smooth; but, if you wish, peel to make silky smooth applesauce.)
Cut into similar sized chunks, place in the pot, do not add water (add spices is you wish)
Cook for 4 or more hours on slow. (To make apple butter, it takes 10 hours or longer.)
When the apples are breaking up and have a mushy texture, it’s time to blend with an immersion blender to make applesauce.
Watch the video to see how easy it is to make and freeze applesauce to have fresh eating all year round. The video is a few years old but I still use this method. ENJOY!