Whole berry is really a misnomer, since while cooking, the berries burst, but it does definitely separate it from jellied cranberry sauce. Every single year, I try a new recipe for cranberry sauce. I get bored with the sugar, water and berry combination. Some have been successful; some not.
Today’s version was something I created to add variety to an otherwise dull dish and to make it a wonderful compliment to the savory turkey, gravy, veggies, dressing, etc. Today’s version has a sweet/tart combination and turned out tasting great with the tart/sweet combination.
- 3 to 4 C whole cranberries (1 12oz bag is 3 cups), with 1 cup separated out
- 1/2C POM pomegranate juice
- 1/2C Fresh orange juice
- 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger (I used a hasp)
- Zest of 1 orange, either in thin strips or zested through a hasp
- 1/2C table sugar
- 1/2C light brown sugar, packed
- OPTIONAL: chop up the orange, making sure to remove all the pith, and add it to the pot
If you read the directions on the cranberry bag, you’ll see it includes water. I’ve substituted juice for all the liquid.
Put all the ingredients, except for the 1 C of separated cranberries, into a medium sized pot, with a tight fitting lid.
Turn the flame on the stove up to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir with a non-reactive spoon (I used plastic rather than wood for this), turn the heat down to medium and cover. Set your oven timer for 10 minutes.
It is really important that you not wander too far from the stove. With the amount of sugar in the pot, if the heat is too high, the berries will foam and boil over, so every couple of minutes give it a quick stir.
At the end of 10 minutes, the berries should be popped. If they are not, continue to cook, 5 minutes at a time, until they are popped. THEN, add the last cup of berries and cook for 5 minutes more.
After turning off the heat, stir the berries one last time, and pour the cranberry sauce into the serving dish or a quart plastic container. DO NOT COVER YET. Let the cranberry sauce cool down to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. It will keep about 2 weeks in the fridge which makes this a great dish for any holiday table since it can be made way ahead.
- 1 oz Grand Marnier or Kir or Cointreau or even Chambord other fruit flavored liqueurs
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts
- Instead of fresh ginger, you can also chop up candied ginger
- You can chop up 1/2 C dried apricots or dates – both will balance the tartness of the cranberries and should be added when the last cup of cranberries are added.
- You can add pomegranate seeds – just warn your guests please
- You can plate, then add a dollop of apple sauce in the middle so it can be spooned out with the cranberry sauce
Cranberry Sauce is a wonderful side as we know it, with turkey, but it’s also wonderful with pork or ham as well. It can also be used as a topping for baked brie, or for my Jewish foodies, to top cheese blintzes.
And although cranberries are not readily available all year, they freeze beautifully and will keep for a long time if the bag is sealed well. I actually bought a Costco bag of cranberries two weeks ago, used half of them, and froze the rest which I used today, right out of the freezer and into the pot.