Cranberry Jam

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The Straits Times

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013

  • Who: Mr Wilson Wang, 25, creative director at a design studio

    In the lead-up to Christmas, Mr Wang's cranberry jam is a hotly requested addition to many a dining table.

    He is happy to oblige his family and friends, since the jam is not complicated to make and goes well with meats, bread and biscuits. Mr Wang, who learnt the recipe a few years ago when he was travelling in Europe, says: "The jam can be used to glaze meats and it can be served on the side with Swedish meatballs or ham."

    When making the sweet and slightly tart jam, do not be alarmed if the mixture looks runny after cooking, he says. When it cools, the pectin (a natural thickening agent) in the cranberries will set the jam.

    For a more tart jam, oranges can be substituted with lemons and limes instead. Mr Wang has also done other variations of the jam with fruit that pair well with cranberries. These include peaches and strawberries, as well as mangos for a chutney.

    He has also bottled sultanas soaked in rum - perfect as an ice cream topping - and homemade Thai chilli sauce to give as festive gifts too.

    His family's annual Christmas gathering also includes the celebration of his brother, cousin and father's birthdays. It is a feast of roasted items - fish, chicken and vegetables - as well as side dishes such as cheese-stuffed peppers with bread crumbs.

    He says: "My uncles also cook for Christmas. One does Cantonese cuisine while the other does more Western dishes. It's part of our culture to share food with others, plus, home-cooking is healthier."

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  • 150g white sugar
  • 150ml water
  • Juice and zest (finely sliced into thin strips) of 2 oranges
  • 325g to 350g fresh cranberries
  • 1. In a saucepan or pot, add sugar and water. Bring to a boil.
  • 2. Next, add orange juice and zest. Bring to a boil again.
  • 3. Add the cranberries. Bring to a boil.
  • 4. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer a thicker jam with more pulp, strain off some of the mixture. Add soda water to this "syrup" to make drinks. If you prefer a smoother jam, you can mash the cranberries with a spoon.
  • 5. Sterilise jam jars by placing them in a pot of boiling water. You can also place the jars in a pot and pour hot water from a kettle over them and let them sit for a few minutes.
  • 6. Remove the pot of cranberry jam from the heat and let it cool. Scoop the jam into sterilised jam jars. The jam can keep for three to four weeks in the refrigerator.
  • 7. Serve with toast, scones or biscuits. The jam can also be used as a glaze for ham, roasts or ribs.
  • Makes 700ml to 1 litre of jam