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High Bush Cranberries?

Last post Dec 25, 2009 8:52 AM by country-boy . 10 replies.

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  • High Bush Cranberries?
    Has anyone made cranberry sauce or jelly from high bush cranberries? I've been told that it ends up with a woody taste. Looks good though. We have a bunch of the bushes across the road from our house on the bank of the river. The berries have gone from orangish to nearly red in a week. Should I use my time to pick any for sauce? Marlene
  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    I used to pick them when I was a child and my Mom made jelly etc. with them.

    High Bush Cranberry Jelly

    Recipe By :Northern Cookbook; 1967
    Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Volume 6-08 Aug. 2003

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    2 cups high bush cranberries -- (500 mL)
    [see note below]
    3 cups water -- (750 mL)
    2/3 cup sugar for each cup of juice

    Simmer the berries and water for 10 minutes, then boil rapidly for 3 to 5

    Strain the liquid through a jelly bag and measure the resulting juice.
    Add 2/3 cup of sugar for each cup of juice. Stir.
    Bring the juice/sugar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
    Boil rapidly until the liquid sheets from the side of the spoon; pour into
    sterilized jars and seal.

    Notes : HIGH BUSH CRANBERRIES are not true cranberries. They are a
    shrubby plant - Viburnum trilobum - with clusters of red berries (drupes)
    which are quite acid. They make excellent jelly which is good with meat,
    poultry, fish or as a spread on toast. In the fall in our area, after a
    light frost, when you walk in the woods you can smell them. The aroma is
    quite pungent and distinctive but to the high bush connoisseur it means
    the time has come to pick the berries :-)

    From Northern Cookbook; edited by E. A. Ellis; Information Canada; 1967.

  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    Cranberry Sauce
    5 cups fully ripened fruit
    ¼ cup water
    1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
    1 cup sugar or honey
    Wash and crush berries. Add water, heat to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Cool and press through a colander until only the seeds and skin remain. Discard seeds and skin. Moisten gelatin with ½ cup of the cranberry juice. Add to remainder of pulp and heat. Add sugar or honey and stir until dissolved, then cool. The sauce should be thick but not jellied.
  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    High-Bush Cranberry Butter

    5 cups fruit pulp

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon allspice

    1/2 teaspoon cloves

    71/2 cups sugar

    1 pkg powdered pectin

    After extracting juice for jelly as explained above, put fruit pulp through a sieve or food mill to make a puree. Measure puree, spices and sugar into large pan. Boil, stirring constantly (burns easily) until mixture darkens slightly and begins to appear clear. Add pectin as it continues to boil then remove from heat.

    Ladle liquid into sterilized sealing jars to very top and cap with metal lid and ring, seal and process in boiling water bath. Remove from water. Turn upside down until cool.

  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    High Bush Cranberry Jelly

    Clean and crush 10 cups of berries
    Add 3 cups of water
    Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
    Strain through cheesecloth
    Take 5 cups of juice, add fruit pectin crystals, bring to a boil
    Add 7 cups of sugar and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
    Place in prepared jars

    Makes 9-10 250 ml jars

    For variation, add some cloves (not too many) to the fruit when you are simmering the berries. Or add cinnamon

  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?

    8 cups (2 L) ripe cranberries 7 cups (1.75 L) sugar
    3 cups (750 mL) water 1 pouch Certo Liquid
    To prepare juice, crush cranberries in a Dutch oven; add water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered,
    for 10 minutes. Strain through a jelly bag. Measure 5 cups (1.25 L) juice into a Dutch oven. Add sugar and mix
    well. Place Dutch oven over high heat and bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Immediately stir
    in Certo. Continue to stir over high heat until mixture returns to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring
    constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam if necessary. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm)
    headspace. Wipe jar rims thoroughly. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
    Yield: About 6 cups (1.5 L).
  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    The highbush cranberry has a long tradition of use both as an edible fruit and as a traditional medicine. The fruit is commonly gathered from wild stands in late August or early September for use in sauces, jellies and juices. The ripe fruit are a bright, glowing red when mature. Each contains a single, flattened, hard seed and is botanically similar to a small cherry. When fresh, the fruit are hard, very sour (acidic) and high in pectin. If picked after a heavy frost, the fruit are softer and more palatable, although during cooking, they do develop a somewhat musty odour that people find objectionable. The fruit is best when picked slightly under-ripe, and prepared as sauce or jelly. The flavour has been favourably compared to that of the true cranberry. Highbush cranberry sauces and jellies make delicious condiments for meat and game. Medicinally, preparations of the fruit have been used as an astringent to treat swollen glands. The bark yields a preparation (containing a bitter compound called viburnine) that has been used as an apparently effective antispasmodic for relief of menstrual and stomach cramps, and asthma. The antispasmodic properties were independently known to European, Native American, and Asian peoples.

  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    I love CRANBERRY jelly and just had some yesterday. My dad is an avid berry picker and we make lots of jams/jellies.

    I see that others have supplied the recipes so I won't bother . . .but just so you know, my friend always calls it "Dirty Sock Jelly" cause it does have that "musty" smell. The taste is out of this world however!
  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    Here is a link to a photo of what they look like:

  • RE: High Bush Cranberries?
    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Highbush Cranberry Jam

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Condiments

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    7 1/2 cups highbush cranberries
    3/4 cup water
    2 cups sugar
    1 tablespoon grated orange peel
    2 tablespoons orange juice
    3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    In a large covered kettle, simmer cranberries and water for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press berries through a strainer; discard skins. Strain mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth (juice will drip through; discard or set aside for another use). Measure 6 cups of the pulp that remains in the cheesecloth and place in the kettle. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour into freezer containers. Cool. Refrigerate or freeze.

    "1995 Taste of Home Magazine"
    S(Formatted by:):
    "1995 Reiman Publications, L.P."
    "3 to 4 half-pints"
  • High Bush Cranberry jelly with Jello.

     I grew up in central Manitoba where wild high bush cranberries are plentiful and my mother and us kids as well as most other families in the area picked them pretty well every year.

    They are such a thing with me that I crave for them if I do not have some in what ever form, raw, jelly or juice at least once a year. The taste to me is out of this world and special. I think I am genetically hardwired for them.

    In later life I moved to southern Ontario in the Toronto area. To my delight, one autumn  day, I discovered wild high bush cranberries growing along the roadsides.  I slammed on the brakes and ran to pick some and to my dismay I found them to be somewhat bitter. The same sweet tart flavor as the ones in Manitiba but with an added bitter taste component, that is best desctibed as a dirty socks taste and smell.

     (Citified taste buds usually cannot handle this bitterness, as well as a lot of other good things, that good country folks learn to love.)  After a few years of research and asking questions I learned that there are two kinds of highbush cranberries, the sweet and the bittersweet. My experience so far is that the bittersweet variety grow closer to Lake Ontario maybe up to roughly a 100 kms plus from the lake. I found some to be less bitter in some areas beyond the 100 or so km range.

    So I experimented with making jelly with this bitter variety, because they were readily available,  and discovered that the simplist way to make jelly out of these bitter ones, is to simply pick as much berries as you like and clean them of course, (use only the reddest healthiest looking  berries, do not use the orange ones, they are not fully developed and more bitter. Better to pick them that way, then to sort and clean after.

    I put the berries in a stainless steel pot and cover with water, bring to low boil and turn off heat. No need to boil more, just enough to soften the skin, this way you preserve the vitamins and enzymes as much as possible.

    I press the juice out by putting some berries in a good quality strong large sieve and pressing the berries with a good strong big spoon till all the juice is pressed out into a suitable container. Use the water with the berries. Discard seeds and skins.  Or if you wish you can add some hot water to the seeds and skins, stir well,  and run throught sieve one more time to get out a bit more juice and add to your other juice to extend your amount a bit if you don't have much juice. Try a bit on the side first to see if you like it. 

    Add enough sugar to make the juice mixture palatable. Pretty well close to one part sugar to one part juice, unless you are a hard core low or no sugar type, or diabetic, you can try less sugar, or some sugar substitutes or some sugar and some sugar substitute.  Experiment as you like. 

    Let the juice cool in the fridge or, freezer, if you want it as cold as possible as quick as possible.  

    I use a packet of orange jello powder and make orange jello as directed and simply use (substitute) the cold water portion with the cranberry juice. 

    The directions on the jello box usually calls for adding jello powder to 1 cup boiling water,  dissolve thoroughly, then I add just under a cup of cold cranberry juice to the hot water mixture.

    I use about 7/8 of a cup of juice to make a firmer jelly.  Put in fridge until jelled and vo-la you have a delightful jelly in which the bitterness is well masked. I tried cherry jello and it tastes good also. ( I use a 500 ml plastic container, like the ones from sour cream or cottage cheese. ) 

    Spread on toast with peanut butter or eat like jello in a bowl and with some cream or ice cream or yogurt,  or any other way that your heart desires.

    I tried adding 1/8 cup 35% whipping cream to 3/4 cup cranberry juice, stir well, then add to the boiling water jello mixture also, and it was wonderful too. Even less bitterness.

    This method takes the least amount of time and jello powder costs less than pectin and you do not have to over boil the juice, therefore preserving the vitamins and enzymes to some degree. Maybe you can find some way to squeeze the juice out without cooking and make a raw juice jello and save all the nutrition if you are a hard core raw food type.

     This jello will keep in the fridge for a couple of months at least.  


    Another delicious and medicinal way (I am sure) to use this cranberry is to just make the juice and add sugar to taste as explained above. But instead of making jelly, just put in a jar (and put in the fridge to keep longer).

    If you can drink it straight, more power to you, it is not too bad cut with apple juice or orange juice, half and half, but it makes a delightful tea, by simply adding a couple of teaspoons of juice to a cup of boiling water. A quart or litre of this juice goes a long way. It will also keep in the fridge a long time if mixed with sugar half and half. 

    I have a neighbor couple that recently moved from Lithuania and it was his idea to use it as a tea. Such teas are customary in their country. It is delicious and I am sure, theraputic for something. No bitter taste, this way.