Who could imagine Thanksgiving without some kind of cranberry sauce? I usually prefer a sauce-y sauce as opposed to a jelly, but I recently saw a glorious cranberry jelly mold in a @bonappetitmag email and felt instantly drawn to the drama and beauty of it. Since I can never leave well enough alone, I decided to make little individual molds, in this case one half of a pumpkin cake pop mold. 😍 Imagine how pretty these will look on your guests plates (and yours!) come mealtime instead of the usual messy dollop! They taste amazing, are a cinch to make, can be prepared up to two days in advance and will 💯 percent impress your family and friends. So I say go for it!
Makes 1 4 cup mold or 12 - 16 1,5-inch (4 cm) molds
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
1½ lb. fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3 fresh bay leaves
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice or water
1½ cups plus 3 Tbsp. sugar
12 -16 (depending on how many molds you’re making) strips orange zest, very thinly sliced lengthwise
Lightly coat your mold or molds with nonstick spray. Stir gelatin and ½ cup warm water in a small bowl and let sit 10 minutes. Set 12-16 (depending on how many molds you’re making) cranberries aside for serving. Bring cardamom, bay leaves, salt, cranberry juice, 1½ cups sugar, and remaining cranberries to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue to cook, stirring often and reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until cranberries burst and juices begin to look syrupy, 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat and pick out cardamom and bay leaves; discard. Stir in gelatin mixture (gelatin should be completely dissolved). Slowly pour cranberry mixture into the molds. Chill until completely set, at least 12 hours. To serve, dip mold in a bowl of warm water and hold 30 seconds. Remove and place a platter upside down over top of mold. Invert jelly onto platter. If making individual molds, carefully run warm water over the back of the molding for about 20 seconds, then invert onto a big cutting board. Just before serving, toss orange zest, remaining 2 Tbsp. cranberries, and remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar in a small bowl to coat. Place one sugared cranberry and a sliver of orange zest on each little mold. Do Ahead: Jelly (without sugared cranberries and zest) can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Recipe by Andy Baraghani And Brad Leone, Bon Appétit Magazine