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Ultimate cranberry sauce. December 6, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, recipes, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. For Thanksgiving week, I posted a recipe from Parade magazine created by Dorie Greenspan (see “Thanksgiving: Cranberry sauce and beyond” for the original recipe). Our friend Ben and I aren’t fans of traditional cranberry sauce because it tends to be bitter, but this recipe looked like it would be sweet and flavorful. I was up for it.

So, for Thanksgiving this year, I made Dorie’s cranberry sauce. It was in fact yummy and not bitter at all. Everyone loved it. But I thought it was a bit too sweet and a bit too bland, and I felt in my bones that I could do better. And yes, indeed I did. The cranberry sauce I evolved from Dorie’s original is spicy and orangey without being at all bitter, and it brings out the wonderful flavor and glossy, jewel-like brilliance of the cranberries without obliterating the supplementary flavors.

So, what did I do? I cut out all the sugar (after all, we were already using sweet orange juice and apricot preserves), doubled the orange juice, added cinnamon sticks, used ginger paste (or crystallized ginger or fresh minced ginger) instead of powdered, and used an entire 12-ounce jar of apricot preserves instead of 8 ounces. Oh, and I added Grand Marnier. To my tastebuds, it’s the ultimate. Try it this Christmas and see what you think!

            Silence’s Ultimate Cranberry Sauce

2 12-oz. bags fresh cranberries*

1 12-oz. jar apricot preserves

16 oz. orange juice

1/2 cup diced dried apricots

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

2 cinnamon sticks

1 heaping tablespoon ginger paste, or 2 slices diced crystallized or minced fresh ginger

Rinse and drain cranberries and put them in a large, heavy pot. (I love my LeCreuset Dutch oven for this.) Pour in orange juice and Grand Marnier. Add diced apricots, apricot preserves, cinnamon sticks, and ginger. Stir well to mix, then cook over low heat until cranberries “pop” and mixture thickens. Allow to cool, then pour into the container(s) of your choice and refrigerate until ready to eat. Serves 12, at any number of meals in any configuration. (Which is to say, we poured ours into two serving dishes and served one at a meal for six, and doled out the other over three meals for two.)

Try this, and let me know what you think!

           ‘Til next time,

                        Silence

* I’ve read some pretty convincing statements that frozen cranberries are actually better in cranberry sauce than fresh berries, but have never seen frozen cranberries available in any stores around here. If you’ve used them, I’d appreciate hearing your opinion!—Silence

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1. Dave@TheHomeGarden - December 6, 2009

I’ve never been a big cranberry sauce fan but it might be worth a shot!

Try it, Dave! We always preferred the canned cranberry “jelly” (and dried cranberries) to cranberry sauce because cranberry sauce struck us as so bitter. But not only is this one not bitter, it’s luscious. And it’s so easy to make (not to mention, as our friend Ben points out, it makes the whole kitchen smell like Christmas!). Make it for your Christmas celebration and see what you think. I suspect your family will be looking around for more!


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