Cranberry is the traditional accompaniment to the Thanksgiving turkey, but in my family there is wide disagreement as to what form it should take. My dad always liked the stuff out of the can and my mom prefers a sauce made of fresh cranberries cooked with orange juice. I crave a relish of raw cranberries and candied ginger, while my husband and son, like my brother, won't touch anything made from the sour red berries.
This year I finally devised a dish to appeal to the differing cranberry factions. All the spices and flavors are here, but in a milder, sweeter package. Pomegranate has cranberry's deep red color and lovely antioxidants, but less tartness and far more kid appeal. One of the things I've learned as a mom is that it doesn't matter how healthy a meal is, if it never makes it into my child's mouth. That's not a problem with this side dish, which was almost more popular than the turkey! (I had to make a second batch of salsa just to get a photo of it.)
The first component, an easy refrigerator jelly, can be prepared up to several weeks in advance, but should be made the day before it will be served at the latest.
16 oz bottle Pom Pomegranate juice
thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled
zest from one orange
1/2 package pectin (2 Tbs if using Sure Jell)
3 C sugar
In a small pot, bring the juice, ginger, cinnamon stick, and zest to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain juice into a bowl. A jelly bag is traditional, but a colander lined with paper towel works just as well. Return juice to pot. Add pectin and whisk until completely combined. Stir in sugar and bring back to a boil. Again reduce heat and continue to stir while the mixture simmers for five minutes. (Do not stop stirring or the pot may boil over.)
Allow the pot to cool slightly, then pour into a clean container and allow to approach room temperature. Once cooled, cover jelly and place in refrigerator. Makes approximately 2 1/4 C.
The second component, the fruit salsa, should be prepared the same day it will be served.
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs turbinado sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 firm apple, peeled, cored and diced into small cubes
1 mango, peeled, pit removed and diced into small cubes
arils from 1 Pom Wonderful fresh pomegranate
Mix the lime juice, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until combined. Add the apple and stir to cover all surfaces with the lime mixture. Gently stir in the mango and pomegranate arils.
Serve both the jelly and the salsa with roast turkey to make everyone happy. Makes enough for six to eight, but don't count on leftovers!
This post is my entry for the Pom Wonderful Fresh Fruit Recipe Contest. You can find contest information, pomegranate tips and lore, plus recipes for the rest of the year at the Pom Wonderful site.