Cranberry sauce

November 25, 2009

“Cranberry sauce can be good? Really? Show me how, please!”  That was my plea to Serious Eats this morning.   I mean, sure, cranberries are darn handsome… but are we sure they are edible?  I can understand why the Pilgrims tried them–but now we have Trader Joe’s, and Subarus to take us there!

However, since I suffer from intermittent episodes of open-mindedness, I suddenly felt compelled to figure this out.  Is some south-European gene mutation responsible for my  inability to enjoy the sour cranberry concoction that stares at me from every Thanksgiving plate?  Or, have I been missing something: THE recipe, perhaps, that real Americans are born knowing?

The Serious Eats community came through with an abundance of suggestions.  There was talk of cranberry chutneys and salsas and sorbets, and of sauces involving horseradish and pomegranate seeds.  Sugar and booze frequently appeared in starring roles.  And I felt inspired, and I bravely plunged in.

Cranberry Sauce

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 orange, peeled and roughly torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 drops vanilla
  • 1/2 shot St-Germain liqueur
  • 1 12oz bag cranberries
  1. Melt the sugar in water on low heat to create a syrup.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

(…Do you suppose that eating a third of this sauce while standing over the stove officially makes me a convert?)

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