This year I have been asked to make Thanksgiving, which I have never done before on my own. Naturally this has led to a great deal of cooking via project management (see also: Project: Christmas Cookies — which clearly explains why I didn’t get a lot of dates in high school). I’ll document the insanity I have resorted to for Thanksgiving planning in another post.
But part of that planning was that I was not going to make my own cranberry sauce. “The can is fine!” I said. “Don’t obsess about making everything from scratch!” Yeah right. Next thing I knew I’d gone to the grocery store and had a black out moment and come home with a giant bag of cranberries. Then I read you can make cranberry sauce a week ahead. OH FINE, I’ll just make it.
I read a number of recipes and debated if I wanted to use orange juice with it, if I wanted to use spices, etc. I like the classic taste of tart, sweet cranberry sauce. But I also had a large ginger root already and thought a little fresh ginger would be great. I also knew that I like a chunky sauce (not jellied) but not with whole berries.
I eat way too many dried cranberries on a regular basis and somehow now have strong opinions about cranberries…
My recipe is a modified version of Orange and Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce, cooked with orange juice but without the orange zest. I knew from making applesauce in the past that I didn’t like too overwhelming of citrus. I also kept the spices a bit low, since I wasn’t sure what I thought about spiced cranberry sauce.
The result is excellent! It’s quite tart, very sweet, and with just hint of the spices to make it a little more interesting. I really like it a lot. I’m looking forward to seeing if my Thanksgiving guests are on board for some non-canned cranberry sauce.
DIY Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground cloves
Wash cranberries. If you want a chunky sauce, but not whole berries, chop up cranberries with a food processor (or with a knife and patience). You can also cook with whole berries. They will burst as they cook.
Combine all ingredients in a pan and cook for 20 minutes. Hold at a low simmer. It should be a nice thick texture when done.
Cool before serving and can be made a few days ahead.
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