Cranberry sauce was always a staple on our holiday table when I was a child, but I must admit that I wasn’t fond of it until recently. My mother like most people from her generation, had a magical method for making cranberry sauce look exactly like a tin can. For the most part it tasted like one as well.
Fast forward a decade or two to the present, and I find that my wife is not only fond of cranberry sauce, but that she’s been making her own for years. As a newly married man I reluctantly agreed to try it last year, and was not only very pleasantly surprised, but nearly awed at the experience.
This sauce is fantastic. A perfect match for turkey, or even as a part of a parfait I’ve been thinking up. It could be drizzled over a shortcake, and nearly always gets “snuck” straight from the bowl at some point. If you’re thinking of placing cranberry sauce on your holiday table this year, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- 1 can whole cranberries, with liquid
- Zest of 1/2 orange
- The juice of 1/2 to 1 orange (depending on strength)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 handful fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- water, if necessary
- Add canned cranberries with juices orange zest and juice of 1/2 orange to sauce pot over medium low heat. When heated through, taste to see if the orange flavor is strong enough for your liking, if not, add the rest of the orange juice.
- Increase heat to medium high. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. If necessary, add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 4 minutes, or until all of the whole cranberries have popped.
- Remove from heat, stir once.
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator until chilled thoroughly.
I think this one is a matter of preference. You can serve warm cranberry sauce in a gravy boat. No garnish is necessary.
Chilled cranberry sauce looks wonderful in a serving dish with a small ladle or serving spoon. Garnish with a few twists of orange peel or paper thin orange slices.
You may of course just spoon it over your turkey if you are plating the dish for your guests, or give each guest a small condiment bowl with a bit of sauce in it.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
My wife was in charge of this sauce, and it was incredible. I’m thinking about making a version myself that will include just a dash of nutmeg and perhaps some allspice. A dash of apple juice might be nice as well, but all-in-all, I can’t imaging a holiday table that doesn’t include this dish in some form or another.