Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cranberry Sauce

Well, it's that time of year. Food, food and more food! Thanksgiving for me though is all about turkey, stuffing and cranberries. My usual cranberry dish is a cranberry orange relish, which is super easy and pretty tasty. It's just cranberries (washed and drained), an orange (cut into small-ish chunks, skin and all), and sugar (to taste). All above goes into the food processor until it gets to where you want it to be. It's all really a matter of taste. This year though, I opted to go another route. I've had cranberry orange relish every year of my life I think. I'm almost a quarter century old, it's time to branch out! 


1 bag of fresh cranberries, washed and drained
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped**
1 medium pear, peeled and chopped**
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon extract (or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2-3/4 cup white sugar or splenda (to taste)
3/4 cup water


Combine all ingredients in a medium to large sauce pan. Start with the 1/2 cup sugar, and if you need more after it's done, stir it in. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are soft and cooked down into a sauce. 

Here comes my note:

**When you're chopping your apple and pear, think ahead. If you want a "rustic" style cranberry sauce (chunky), chop them into smaller pieces. I'd say probably 1/4-1/2" dice. For my sauce, I used an immersion blender once everything was done cooking, so I made a bigger dice (about 1"). 

Another note: When selecting your apples, use a red one! The sweet will offset the tart of the cranberry and reduce the amount of sugar you'll need. Also, try to buy a good looking local breed! I used a Pacific Rose apple. Same goes for pears. Try to buy a sweeter variety, and buy local! It will be fresher, better tasting, and better for your local economy! 

/end preaching

This is what mine looked like when everything was cooked down, just before I took my immersion blender to it:

And just after:

I purposely left some chunks in mine, so that it wouldn't be like a cranberry butter. I wanted a bit of substance to it still. In the future, I think that I'll just dice the apples and pears a bit smaller and leave it as is. I like the chunks! 

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