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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crazy for Cranberry

Cranberry Sauce – Meat & Fowl, Pg. 132 – Boscawen Manor (Frances M. Campbell)

Cranberry sauce – often considered the best supporting condiment at the holiday dinner table – is often underrated. Cranberry sauce is actually much more versatile then it gets credit for. Sure – when it comes to the Thanksgiving turkey dinner, cranberry sauce is kind of like the unassuming, less talented, underappreciated little sister to the overrated, spotlight hogging turkey showcased at the centre of the table. Let’s face it though – the turkey is often easily replaced by a ham, chicken or some other slab of meat. Cranberry sauce however maintains its coveted place at the table - irreplaceable.

Although some will argue that cranberry sauce should be served as a jiggly gelatinous mass in the shape of a can, we’re here to tell you otherwise. Step away from the can!! Cranberry sauce is simple to make – and the flavor of using fresh local cranberries can’t be beat. Cranberries are cultivated throughout Nova Scotia and readily available at your local farmers’ market.

You may not be able to slide it out of a can, but we guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with the homemade version. So kick the can to the curb and give these recipes a try. The Dutch Oven recipe is very simple, with few ingredients; however, it produces a nice thick sauce with a clean cranberry flavor.

Cranberry Sauce (Dutch Oven)

4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups white sugar
1 cup water

In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil, add cranberries and cook until cranberries have burst and are soft (10-15 minutes). Add sugar and bring to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat immediately. Bottle immediately. Refrigerate for up to two weeks or process bottles for storage. Yields 3-4 250 ml bottles.

As an alternative, here is a great recipe from Peter’s cranberry culinary class days. A few extra steps, but well worth the extra effort and the extra kick.

Petah’s Cranberry Orange Sauce

8 cups fresh cranberries
4 cups sugar
Zest of 4 oranges
Orange segments (4 oranges)- check out the below video on how to segment your oranges
1 cinnamon stick
4 oz Grand Marnier
4 oz orange juice
4 oz water


Combine sugar, juice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add cranberries and cinnamon stick and simmer uncovered until the cranberries begin to burst (about 15 minutes). Add Grand Marnier and zest and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick. Add orange segments, stir. Bottle immediately and refrigerate for up to two weeks or process bottles for storage. Yields 7-8 250 ml bottles.

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