Hopefully, what you are beginning to discover is that cooking is quite often about a method, as opposed to a specific recipe – and cranberry sauce is no exception. Once you have a bag of fresh glorious cranberries in hand – you are halfway home. Whether you prepare 1 bag or 2, 3 or 6 or 10 – the method is the same and this would be where you’d call on your elementary school math skills – multiply the recipe ingredients by the number of bags. I’m making 2 bags but will give you the recipe for one.
At the end of the day, why cranberries have been long-standing members of the once-maybe-twice-a-year club is beyond me – other club members include eggnog, stuffing, shortbread, gingerbread cookies, fruitcake, butter tarts, spiced apple cider and spiced beef – thank goodness some of them only show up once a year and for others, like cranberries – well, we need to see them much more often. Aside from being absolutely delicious and versatile, their superfood status alone is reason enough to keep these stocked in your freezer, right up there along with ice cream, peas & corn. There are some things that just can’t compare to homemade and cranberry sauce is one of them. So, if you think cranberry sauce is something that slides out of a can – imprints and all – dream on – I mean read on (there I go digressing again). And to make my point – like cranberry sauce – if you’re ever caught with breadcrumbs in your grocery cart, to be blunt – a village is missing their idiot. You can make cranberry sauce and you can also make breadcrumbs – I’ll get to that one of these days – but for now, let’s make cranberry sauce.
1. First, look at those gorgeous berries – mother nature has done it again.
2. Second, give those lovely berries a good rinse.
3. Set them aside while you get your act together.
4. This would be you getting your act together – get the brown sugar, orange juice, maple syrup & cinnamon sticks organized and remember, I’m doubling the recipe.
5. Put a pan over medium-high heat and add all the flavouring ingredients.
6. And bring to a healthy simmer.
7. Add the berries.
8. Give it a good stir and cook until they start sounding like popcorn.
9. In the meantime, grate the zest of an orange.
10. Add the zest to the bubbling berries .
11. Boy, is this ever going to be tasty! Give it a good stir, reduce the heat and simmer for another couple of minutes before taking them off the heat.
12. Allow to cool completely – the sauce will thicken as it cools.
13. Now dig into your big beautiful bowl of ruby-red riches!
1. Wash and pick over:
- 1 bag cranberries (about 3 cups)
2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and bring the following to highish heat:
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 maple syrup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick broken into 2″ lengths
3. Add the berries and cook until they start to pop – about 10 minutes or so.
- the zest of an orange
- pinch of salt
5. Stir well to combine and simmer for another couple of minutes. Take it off the heat and let cool completely, It will thicken substantially as it cools.
Instead of the usual suspects in the sauce itself try a few savory variations and put this on burgers, in wraps, beside mains, in salad dressings, sauces & dip. And once you’ve gotten creative with the sauce, get creative with where you use it.
- lemon, ginger, scallions
- garlic, oregano, a bay leaf
- worcestershire sauce, garlic, sage
- chopped red chilies
- lime, cliantro, soy sauce
- curry, cumin, garlic
- hot sauce & balsamic vinegar