24 November 2009

Cranberry Sauce

In my family there is only one cranberry sauce. I can't remember a Thanksgiving without it and would probably be tossed out on my ear if I ever tried to sneak in a different type. This recipe is crazy easy and way tastier than anything you will get from a can. I called my mom to get the story behind our sauce because I've never met anyone else who makes it this way. I thought it would be a great story--my mom frequently recreated dishes we would eat in Colonial Williamsburg. (I grew up right down the road from Williamsburg and we went there often.) Or better yet, it's a secret recipe passed down from my great-grandmother. Nope. Mom got the recipe off the back of the cranberry package when she married my dad and he refused the eat the canned junk. (He says it always tastes like the can.) Also, it's called cranberry relish, not sauce. Disappointing, but no matter! It's the only cranberry sauce served in this house. :) Maybe I'll make up a story for the kids.

You will need:

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 large orange or 2 small
3/4 cup sugar (you may need a bit more)
a blender

This year the monkeys want to help with Thanksgiving prep, so Tink made the sauce. She did a great job! This sauce gets better the longer it sits, so I always make it on the Monday before Thanksgiving. It will keep for a month and you can freeze the leftovers for 6 months or more.

Wash your oranges before cutting into them. Tink used one orange from our own tree and one Amber Sweet from our neighbor's tree. The juicer your orange the better. And the amount of sugar you use depends on how sweet the orange is. If you have a rather dry orange (California) add 2T of orange juice.

Remove all the meat and juice from your orange(s) and place into the blender. Be careful not to add any seeds. Tink had juice running down both arms by the time she was done.

Wash and sort the cranberries. Remove any stems or mushy berries. Then give them a pat with a paper towel to dry them a little.

Now dump the berries and the sugar into the blender on top of the orange.

Blend on high.

You may need to stop and push down some of the berries.

Then keep blending until almost smooth. You don't want any whole berries, but you don't want the sauce liquefied.

Store in a container or bowl in the fridge. I like to put my sauce in a quart canning jar. But don't check the sauce for sweetness yet. Let it ripen overnight and then check. It will sweeten as it sits and will also deepen in color.

Sweeten to your tastes after it ripens. We like our cranberry sauce a bit tart and this recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and tart.


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