Monday, November 22, 2010

Apple-Spice Cranberry Sauce

I'll be honest- outside of cranberry sauce, I don't cook with cranberries too often. Unless you count mixing the berries or the juice into sangria... well, I think that counts for something! I do love those sour berries though.

I think of cranberry sauce as the "Baby Bear" of the Thanksgiving accompaniments- you don't want it tooth-achingly sweet, nor do you want it sour as a mother-pucker, but you want it juuuuuuuuuuuust right! I always thought cranberries were fantastic complements to other fruits and flavors, and for this reason, I've always made my cranberry sauce with apples or pears. You might initially think that the cinnamon and maple syrup here might be too much, or you might wonder if half a cup of sugar could possibly cut down on the full-on sour taste of the cranberries- these flavors really give depth to the sauce, and your guests will be wondering what that special something is in your cranberry sauce. If you like, you could even add a pinch of ground ginger for some added warmth.

Whether your Thanksgiving guests pair this with turkey or Tofurky, this underrated staple will have everyone wondering why you don't make cranberry sauce throughout the winter.

The Whats:

* 3 cups cranberries
* 2 tsp. orange zest
* 1/3 cup apple cider
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 2 tbsp. maple syrup
* 1 large apple, diced

The Hows:

1) In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, orange zest, apple cider, and sugar. Cook the cranberries over medium-high heat, until sugar is dissolved and cider comes to a boil; reduce to low.

2) When cranberries are halfway cooked- cranberries will just start to fall apart, about 10 minutes- stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, and diced apple. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until cranberries have mostly fallen apart and mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, and allow cranberry sauce to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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