This is the second in a two post series in a happy collaboration with Vitamix to celebrate the launch of the Vitamix Ascent Series blenders. This unique blender series combines power and precision, future-forward technology and an all new design to ensure fast, consistent results that are bursting with flavour. I have really enjoyed experimenting with this very impressive piece of kitchen kit and I can heartily recommend it. It has won coveted space on my tiny kitchen counter and I now use it regularly. (The first recipe in the series is my Gorgeous Dairy Free Beer Cheese Dip).
I am committed to the cause. Several causes, I am a little obsessive, but let’s focus for now on Christmas.
Now, I am not one of those Christmas types who throws out the pumpkins and wheels in the tree and all other festivities on November 1st. Nor am I a Michael Bublé cd toting menace (you know who you are). But I do love the build up in December, and all the things that winter brings at this time. Seeing people I rarely see, having fun, and indulging.
Christmas is all about luxury and intensity, seeing friends, taking stock, and eating and drinking more than is necessary. Everything that passes your lips should have a hint of luxury, or a lot of it. Christmas is all about food and drink and food at Christmas should be festive and a little different. Turkey is fine, but Christmas is all about the midday and all day snacks, the cheeky glasses of wine, and we can do those better.
I love a curd, the best are sharp and intense and bright. Lemon is the usual, I have a few others in my archives like blood orange and rhubarb curd (in Comfort & Spice in a meringue pie), and a bright passion fruit one. For Christmas we need to consider festive flavours, and what could be more festive than cranberry and clementine? Very little.
Cranberry doesn’t grace our tables as often as it should, but it is a terrific ingredient. Yes, it is astringent, but cooked with something sweet it is a joy. Teased with sugar, honey or maple syrup cranberry transforms from a recluse to an extrovert and allows itself to shine. It works so well in a curd, lifted with joyful clementines. The clementines are more a background note to balance out the otherwise too-sharp cranberries, and who doesn’t love clementines, especially at Christmas?
The joy of this is not only the festive flavours but that it is familiar but also very different. It will cut through tired bellies and awake appetites. It is perfect on toast, or just piled high on a spoon straight from the jar (you will want to). This cranberry and clementine curd is the perfect thing for festive entertaining for friends who pop in, or just save it all for yourself. If feeling very generous you can give jars to friends as gifts (and they will love you for it).
There are several advantages to making this in the Vitamix. It is quick. There is no hand wringing over eggs possibly curdling. It is all very easy. There is no need to sieve the cooked cranberries and clementines to get a puree, the Vitamix does this for you. In less than 10 minutes you have a terrific curd with no fiddling, and all you need to do is wait patiently for it to cool and be ready to eat. Also, I must mention the terrific self cleaning function that the Vitamix has which for steepers like me is a joy.
I went through 8 versions of this recipe before arriving at one I was happiest with. The thing is they were all good, but I wanted one that was great. That was special with the right amount of fruit flavour, sweet enough and the perfect amount of wobble. My earlier versions were firmer (which would be great for baking) but the cranberry didn’t shine enough for me in these ones. A compromise on firmness and tweaks to the cranberry, clementine and sugar ratio gave much brighter results. I served some to my friend who declared: what! This is better than jam (well, yes!), way better, it is like eating pie on toast!
And who can resist that? Enjoy.
- 300g cranberries
- 4 clementines, zest and juice
- 225g demerara sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 150g butter or 175g coconut oil (coconut oil for the dairy free)
- Pinch salt
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