Thursday, December 23, 2010
Cranberry sauce is one of those things I only typically think about around Thanksgiving time. No particular reason for that, just tradition I suppose. I grew up eating cranberry sauce only one time per year… maybe twice if we were lucky enough to have leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. However, even if we did have leftover cranberry sauce, until very recently, chances are good it was from a can.
Let me tell you friends, all of this cranberry sauce tradition is going to change. First of all, no more waiting all year for a day or two of cranberry sauce goodness. Why should it have to be such an infrequent treat, especially when it’s so easy to make? And that brings me to my second point. Never again will I willingly serve canned cranberry sauce. While I grew up loving, and if I’m being honest, requesting, jellied cranberry sauce complete with can ridges, I’d like to think my palette has matured a bit. I can handle, and indeed love, fresh cranberries and all the juicy things you can make with them.
And making cranberry sauce? It’s ridiculously easy. Take some fresh cranberries, some sugar (white and brown for this recipe), and some orange juice. Stir them together in a pot, and heat it all up until the cranberries pop and everything magically turns into sauce. Seriously folks, this is easier than waiting in line at the grocery store. And the taste is so much better than anything you can find in a can. The sauce is a perfect balance of sweet and tart. The orange flavor adds dimension without overpowering the cranberries, and the color is incredible. While there are some family traditions that I would never mess with, reserving cranberry sauce for one day a year isn’t one of them. If you’re with me on this one, I strongly suggest you don’t wait until next year to give this recipe a try.
One Year Ago: Bulgarian Pepper Casserole
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life
12 oz. bag fresh cranberries, washed (Discard any mushy ones.)
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar *
* You may need to add a little more sugar depending on how sweet your orange juice is.
Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine.
Cook on medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has reduced and the cranberries have popped. Taste the sauce, and add a little extra sugar if necessary. (See * above.)
Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and serve hot, room temperature, or cold. It will keep well in the refrigerator for several days.
Makes about 2 cups.