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My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast has always been the cranberry sauce. It doesn't matter what kind—a gussied up version from a food magazine, the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spay bag, or even straight from a can. Cranberries in all forms, with their zingy sweet flavor and crimson hue, are a delicious symbol of the holiday season. This luscious jam combines fresh and dried cranberries with a generous amount of ruby port.
You might recall that over the summer I made a blueberry port jam. It turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. I only have one jar left, and I'm hoarding it away all for myself. The port really intensifies the flavor of the fruit, and adds body and boozy warmth to the jam. (Ruby port is often described as being "jammy," so it's a no brainer that it would make a great addition to jam.)
So this fall I got to thinking. What other kinds of jam could I make with port? Bright, tart cranberries were a natural choice. I also tossed in some dried cranberries to add texture and sweetness. Feel free to substitute raisins, chopped walnuts, or crystallized ginger.
I'm happy to report that this jam is every bit as delicious as the blueberry version. I was a bit worried it would taste too much like cranberry sauce, but it doesn't at all. It has a smoother, silkier texture and is a bit sweeter. It would be perfect spread on cornbread, pumpkin bread, or anything slathered with cream cheese. In the weeks ahead, I'm planning to make extra batches to give to coworkers, friends, and family over the holidays.
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About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.
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