Kirsten’s Cranberry Quince Sauce

Anyone who knows me knows I like odd things. Those lumpy, fuzzy fruits that I don’t recognize at the green grocer? Love ’em, let’s buy some and make… something with them.

Thus, cranberry-quince sauce.

I debuted this sauce at Friendsgiving last year, which was the best eclectic meal I’ve ever had. The quirky sauce matched the quirky food perfectly, and a tradition was born!

Recipe

2 cups apple cider (apple juice would be fine too, or even water in a pinch)

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 cup sugar, plus more to taste

5-ish quinces, peeled and chopped roughly

12-14 oz (approx 350 g) cranberries

Method

In a medium saucepan, combine the cider, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce to medium heat and add the quince. Cook until softened, up to 20 minutes. Add the cranberries, bring mixture to a simmer, and cook until the cranberries have all popped, stirring occasionally (and admire the pretty streaks of pink as they just start to pop). Taste and add more sugar if desired – I like mine fairly tart. Remove from heat, fish out cinnamon stick, and ladle into a container. Traditionally cranberry sauce is served cold but honestly, I like it hot too. Try it sometime!

If you like, you can process this sauce in a water bath for 10 minutes to preserve it and give it away as a holiday gift! As always, follow all safety precautions associated with preserving.

Potential variations:

-adding other spices, such as whole cloves, whole allspice berries, star anise, etc.

-adding orange/lemon juice to bring out the almost citrus-y tang of the quince (to me, they taste like apples soaked in freshly-squeezed orange juice)

-adding fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme

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