Cranberry sauce is a classic accompaniment to a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey dinner, and it is certainly a pairing that goes well together. The sweet but tart cranberry sauce with the savory, mild turkey makes for a delicious mouthful. Our Christmas table (in the UK) almost always included homemade cranberry sauce. We only occasionally bought it if we didn’t get cranberries before they sold out – it was never missed out – but it was always a proper preserve-like sauce. Only on coming to the US have I come across the more jelly form of cranberry sauce in a tin that I tried once through lack of choice. I have to say I don’t think I could bring myself to have again. Sorry to anyone who likes it, hopefully I can convert you with this recipe as it really is ridiculously easy and tasty.
How it’s made
There are only three ingredients – cranberry, orange and sugar. I use a lot of orange juice so this cranberry sauce has very little actual sugar in it, unlike a lot of bought varieties. The orange also adds a lovely fresh zesty flavor that goes well with the cranberry. Personally I prefer a fairly tart sauce so this recipe reflects that. As a result, you my want to add a little more sugar than I have here. You can do this right at the end when you taste it. I would just suggest you do it while it is still warm as the sugar may not dissolve properly if you wait until it is cold. I mentioned before in the cranberry gin experiment that we are lucky enough to live not too far from the home of a huge cranberry harvest festival. We have been to see the whole process which is both interesting and beautiful. I always try my best to use local foods where I can. It’s even better to be able to go right to the source where possible. Even if you don’t get a chance to visit a cranberry farm, though, don’t skip cranberry sauce from your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. It really is worth the teeny bit of effort and you can make it a good day or two in advance. If you have any left, it’s great with leftover turkey and stuffing for lunches as we always do. Yum.
- 1½ cups/150g fresh cranberries (or frozen, defrosted)
- Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- Put cranberries, orange juice and rind and sugar in a small pan over a medium heat.
- Bring to the boil and keep heating until all the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens up- the cranberries should be fairly mushy. It will take about 15min in all.
- Check the taste and add a little more sugar to taste.