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Because We Cran Cran Cran!

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Everybody Cran-jam!

Because We Cran Cran Cran! A recipe for spicy cranberry jam inspired by Moulin Rouge!

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Firstly, I must apologies for the ear-worm.

Now, onto business… or, indeed, Baz-ness.

This “song” is from Baz Luhrmann’s restrained 2001 musical juke-box film, Moulin Rouge! – the soundtrack of which featured prominently at many early-noughties party attended by the Cabernet editors… (including that memorable themed party… Ed). The film was both passionately adored and loathed in equal measures but proved to be a massive hit for Lurhmann and his stars, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. A stage musical seemed inevitable but failed to materialise until this summer’s Boston production which is now eyeing-up a 2019 Broadway run. The stage show has many of the same songs as the movie, as well as a few more recent hits (the inclusion of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance seems rather apt).

Because We Can Can Can! is a dance track by British DJ Fatboy Slim, featuring samples of Jim Broadbent, as Moulin Rouge owner Harold Zidler sporadically shouting, “Everybody Can-Can!” Listening to it has the same effect as going to a family Thanksgiving where your mad uncle Donald bellows alt-right slogans over a soundtrack of your annoying cousin’s awful German techno demos. That is hasn’t been included in the stage show is truly something to be thankful for.

Wait – did someone mention Thanksgiving…? Cue cranberries…

I went a bit overboard with cranberry recipes a couple of years ago… Pick A Posset Or Two, Affo-Gotta Get A Gimick, Holiday Ginn Fizz, amongst others… but I thought it was time to return to that most festive of berries… with some jam! This isn’t a breakfast jam (although you could easily adapt it with that in mind). This is intended as a condiment for cheese (and would be great with ham).

Fruit quantities can be varied – you just need equal parts fruit and sugar. I deseeded the chillies, but I was aiming for sweet-chilli-sauce warmth rather than blow-your-head-off heat – but adapt as you wish. I didn’t need to add any other liquid, the sugar dissolved without it, but add a splash of water if necessary. Check out And All That Jam for details of testing the setting point and sterilising jars. Take your time caramelising the onions… a glass of wine helps pass the time nicely.

Quarter and thinly slice the red onions before adding them to a large saucepan with some oil. Fry the onions until nicely caramelised before adding the vinegar, cranberries, finely chopped chillies, grated ginger and spices. As the berries and vinegar heat up, the fruit will start to burst releasing its juice. Let it bubble away until all the cranberries have popped (squashing them with a wooden spoon is also fun, especially after a second glass of wine – Ed). Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Keep the pan bubbling for 10-15 minutes and then start testing the setting-point. When the jam is ready, pour into sterile jars and seal.

Because We Cran Cran Cran! A recipe for spicy cranberry jam inspired by Moulin Rouge!

Yield: 2 jars

Because We Cran Cran Cran!

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions
  • Oil for frying
  • 400g cranberries
  • 100ml cider vinegar
  • Thumb ginger
  • 1-2 chillies
  • 1 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 400g preserving sugar

Instructions

Quarter and thinly slice the red onions before adding them to a large saucepan with some oil.

Fry the onions until nicely caramelised before adding the vinegar, cranberries, finely chopped chillies, grated ginger and spices.

As the berries and vinegar heat up, the fruit will start to burst releasing its juice. Let it bubble away until all the cranberries have popped.

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Keep the pan bubbling for 10-15 minutes and then start testing the setting-point.

When the jam is ready, pour into sterile jars and seal.

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