Cranberry sauce is the most neglected dish on the Thanksgiving table. It is over-sweetened to the point of tasting like jam, or worse, dumped and sliced from a can, ridge marks remaining.
Why should these tart orbs be subjected to such a fate? Cranberries are easy to obtain fresh in November and full of flavor and vitamin C. It is impossibly easy to make them into an all-natural sauce. And once you do, you’ll find new ways to appreciate the humble cranberry.
This sauce is a tangy antidote to any roast beast, of course. But it also plays beautifully on a charcuterie platter or cheese plate. Any rich dish that could use a balance of tart clear flavor will be improved by a dollop of cranberry sauce.
My sauce recipe is high in acid content and can be canned for use year round. I use an ample amount of apple for natural sweetness and just a bit of honey. Spices are light because they concentrate in the jar. If serving fresh, feel free to increase the spice quantities.
Makes: six half pint jars
Time: 30 minutes cooking, 20 minutes canning
2 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries, washed with stems removed
6 medium apples, peeled cored and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4-3/4 cup honey
1. Peel orange, avoiding pith.
2. Place orange peel and remaining ingredients in a medium pot. Juice orange into pot.
3. Cook over low heat, covered, until apple texture disappear and cranberries ‘pop’. Taste for spice and sweetness, adding more if necessary.
4. Remove orange peel and discard.
5. Serve sauce warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers and eat within two weeks or freeze for up to a year.
6. Alternately, ladle into sterilized jars with 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from water, cool, and prepare for storage.