There are two schools of thought regarding cranberry sauce. First, there's the people, diehard believers, all of them, who purchase the can of jellied berries packed so tightly the little ridges show when you schlep it into grandma's crystal dish on Thanksgiving Day. Have at it.
My preference, however, is for the second group of Thanksgiving feasters: Those who appreciate the humble cranberry as a delicacy to be cooked slowly, carefully, and served at just the right moment as a compliment to a beautiful, brined turkey.
It's not difficult, or too time-consuming, but cooking homemade cranberry sauce does require some careful steps, along with a little imagination. Below is the basic recipe. Enjoy.
1 bag fresh cranberries (buy extra and freeze them to make more later)
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
Ground cinnamon to taste
Orange zest to taste.
(Other additions may include a splash of lemon juice, mandarin oranges diced into small chunks, rosemary, or basil)
- Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring frequently, until a simple syrup forms.
- Add cranberries and cover. Gently simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes, until the berries gently pop. Stir occasionally, and do not let the berries burn.
- Remove from heat, add orange zest and cinnamon to taste.
- If you like, garnish with a sprig of mint or rosemary.
You can catch up with this recipe, and a few other Thanksgiving favorites, on KFQD radio, where I once in a while chat about food and flying, my favorites. Check it out HERE.
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