I am getting my Christmas groove back. All the tricky chores are almost finished and only the lovely things remain. Christmas crafts with the boys, present wrapping, parties, menu planning and the nicer side of cooking. For me the fun starts when school stops. We'll be making home made biscuits to hang on the tree, canapes for parties, sauces, treats and fripperies.
First off, cranberry sauce. I love when the shops start getting their Christmas sandwiches in: turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing or brie and cranberry, and I love to make fresh cranberry sauce (the store-bought versions are so often more like overly-sweet jam than the requisite light fruity sauce) to see us through the post-christmas week of turkey, ham and cheese suppers. I've added a little bit of hot spice and limey zestiness to the usual flavours to cut through the sweetness of the cranberries. This is gorgeous served with baked camembert at a party and (obviously) perfect served with turkey or a hot spiced ham at Christmas lunch.
Cranberry Sauce with Shiraz
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest of 1 lime
85g caster sugar
150ml shiraz or other fruity red wine
200g fresh cranberries
1/4 tsp allspice
1 hot red chilli
Dissolve the sugar in a pan with the red wine, orange juice and zest, and lime juice and zest.
Stir in the cranberries, whole chilli and allspice.
Cook uncovered for 10 minutes until the cranberries have all popped and softened and the juices are thickened. Remove the chilli before serving. Serve warm or cold.