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Looking for a New Cranberry Sauce Recipe

I'm having the family (15 adults and 2 small children) for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm looking for a new cranberry sauce recipe.

In the past, I've done the typical cranberry-orange, Susan Stamberg's mother's recipe with cranberries and horseradish that's she talks about on NPR every year (that one fell flat) and an amazing baked cranberry-apple crumble served warm (more of a dessert than a relish), but I'm looking for something relatively simple, but interesting.

What's your family's fav cranberry sauce?

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  1. Hi chicgail,

    I am just thinking out loud. Instead of the traditional cranberry sauce, how about using pomegranate as a sauce?

    Here is a list of pomegranate sauce:

    1. Mine is still cranberry orange ginger with toasted pecan pieces added after its cooled. However, a great but simple variation is to make a basic cranberry sauce using a bold red wine (cab/merlot/zin) instead of the water/orange juice. With that many people, you could easily make two different batches to account for different tastes.

      1. My mum uses toasted walnut pieces in her cranberry sauce...mmmmm!

        1. I didn't care for the Stamberg sauce either, but in fairness, I believe it's supposed to be used on turkey sandwiches, not as an accompaniment to the dinner with all the various side dishes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            My family is wild for this Stamberg one at the meal, so to each her own!
            I make that and also a cooked sauce with pears and ginger which is fun.

            1. re: greygarious

              I like Ming Tsai's cranberry wasabi relish which is almost the same as as the Stamberg recipe but with 2T. of bloomed wasabi added. It's a subdued pink and not frozen, and is good with turkey and roast beef, and, I imagine, with a lot of other meats.

            2. I made a interesting cranberry compote featured in Gourmet last year. It uses a good dry red wine instead of the water/juice and it has aniseed and persimmons in it.

              1. Make Spiced Cranberries, our favorite sauce. Simple to make, but even avowed cranberry-sauce haters love this.

                Spiced Cranberries
                4 cups fresh cranberries
                2 cups water
                3 cups sugar
                1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
                pinch of ground ginger

                Wash cranberries and drain; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cranberries, cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins pop. Reduce heat, and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Chill until ready to serve. Yields 2 cups.

                While the ingredients are few and the recipe is simple, these cranberries are really festive - beautiful translucent claret color, especially lovely in a crystal bowl, with a wonderful christmasy-holiday-spice flavor, and after thanksgiving is over, they are terrific as a flavoring for plain yogurt in the morning! I've tried the uncooked relishes, the sauces with added cherries, wines, herbs, etc. but this is now the one and only sauce for our household.

                1. I have 2 .One uses orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves and brandy -- gets rave reviews every year

                  The other is a "cranberry fluff / salad" The fluff is very sweet - and is made with ground, sweetend cranberres cool whip, grapes, and pecans. I know cool whip is tacky, but real whipped cream doesn't do the job. Its a family traditon!

                  1. This is another recipe that I've posted probably every Thanksgiving season since I started prowling these boards. (Don't wanna say how long it's been.) It was pointed out to me that, even though I've posted it before, it might be new to some of you, so here's my very favorite cranberry relish recipe. I *think* it may have come from Gourmet magazine years and years ago, but can't swear to it. Just know that, until preparing this particular dish, I've always hated cranberry relish. Now it's on demand any time we attend a family T-day feast. The combination of cranberries, pears and coffee - mmmmmm!

                    Cranberry/Pear Relish

                    4 ripe Bosc pears
                    6 cups very strong coffee
                    3 cups sugar
                    1 teaspoon vanilla
                    1 (8-oz.) bag of cranberries

                    1. Peel and slice the pears lengthwise, rubbing with lemon to keep them from turning brown. Core the halves and remove the stem & bud ends with a paring knife.
                    2. Pour the coffee into a large sauce pan. Stir in 1½ cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Add the halved pears. When it comes back to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the pears and set aside to cool a bit. Discard the coffee.
                    3. While the pears are cooling, prepare the cranberries according to the directions on the bag, (i.e., cover with water, add about 1½ cups of sugar, bring to a boil, then simmer ‘til they’ve all ‘exploded’ and the mixture is thick). It doesn’t take very long... Remove from heat and put into a large bowl.
                    4. When the pears are cool enough to handle, cut them into small chunks and put them into the bowl with the cranberries. Toss to mix well, transfer to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (or at least a couple of hours).

                    Hope you give this one a shot. And another note, even if you decide against this dish - pears poached in sweet coffee this way could make a wonderful dessert, halved and drizzled with chocolate?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Deenso

                      Can't thank you enough for posting this recipe. It has been a favorite of mine for years and some how I lost it. The smoky favor of the pears with the sweetness of the cranberries is fabulous. The only revision that I make to the recipe is I brew the coffee extremely strong. This helps balance the natural effects of eating turkey.

                    2. I made this Bourbon Cranberry Sauce last year. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      It was absolutely simple (sugar, cranberries, bourbon, water, cinnamon) and incredibly delicious. Using a quality bourbon provided the perfect level of complexity and a deep note of flavor to the sauce. We're making it again this year!


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Phoo_d

                        This is a family favorite in my house for several years now. Men really love this

                      2. Our favorite over the last few years had been from epicurious - the triple cranberry sauce.

                        Good stuff!

                        1. My grandma always made a cranberry mold with "white stuff" which was so popular she would make a side of "white stuff" for me and my sister. Good memories. The white stuff is actually called Russian Cream and it tops the cranberry mold - made of 1/2 and 1/2, sugar and gelatin. It's the one recipe my sister and I still have to have, even when our palates have matured. I can share if you'd like. It's easy to make, just takes time to set up, but can be made in advance.

                          1. My favorite (I've posted before) is from Gourmet, I think.
                            In a non reactive pot, put 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, shredded zest of one orange and 1 cup Bourbon. (I've been using Maker's Mark) Bring to a boil and cook uncovered on low 10 min. Add 1 pkg (12 oz) fresh cranberries and 1 cup white sugar. Cook on low another 10 min, stirring to help berries pop. Add freshly ground black pepper, let cool, put in fridge. Let come to rm temp before serving.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: walker

                              My memory was faulty .. recipe was from Food & Wine. I also think that using Maker's Mark was overdoing it. I still love this recipe, easy, delicious.

                            2. You guys are awesome!

                              I'm debating between the sauce with the poached pears and the one with the brandy. Although the triple cranberry is pretty tempting. With kids, I'll probably go with the pears. Maybe I'll do a variety.

                              1. I love blueberries and blackberries, so I'm giving this one a try. Sounds really good, but I'll probably make a plain version too for the not-so-adventurous.


                                1. I've been using one with cranberries, pear pieces, lemon rind and a little lemon juice, raisins and nuts. It's pretty amazing.

                                  I can't make up my mind between the pear/coffee one and the bourbon one this year.

                                  @Shotting Shark - I went to that link because I love blackberries and could find nary a one!

                                  1. This has become my only cranberry sauce recipe. I made it last night, and I just could not stop dipping into the pot for a taste as it was cooling down.


                                    The only adjustment I made was, last year instead of all water, I squeezed the juice of one orange and added water to make up the 3/4 cup. This year I saw something called a cocktail grapefruit in the store, and the sign said they are a "cross between a Frua Mandarin and a Pummelo" and are "exceptionally sweet and juicy." So I bought one plus an orange just in case. I tasted it when I cut into it, and it was very yummy, so I used that instead of the orange. I think it really made a difference in the sauce. Oranges can sometimes have a bitter edge, but this was really fruity and not too sweet.

                                    This year I am going to make sure I take some of this cranberry sauce for myself for leftovers, it's that good! And extremely simple to make.

                                    1. I just finished a new one (to me) and I love it! 2 bags fresh cranberries, 2 oranges, peeled, pith removed and 2 fuji apples (unpeeled and rough chopped. 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teas. allspice and Gran Marnier to taste. Put into a food processor until med chop. No cooking and it was so good. I just went and looked - I got it off of Epicurious.

                                      1. I made a cranberry date relish this year, to go with a roasted pear chutney. It was a riff on an Indian cranberry date chutney and contained cranberries, chopped dates, finely chopped onion, yellow mustard seed, a fresh finely chopped orange, fresh ginger, brown sugar, a pinch or two of five spice powder and a little cider vinegar. I simmered it for about 30 minutes. The orange and onion were finely chopped in the food processor, but I left some texture. It's been in the frig now for a few days and is a lovely color, not too sweet and rather unusual.

                                        1. I've been making Ina Garten's cranberry compote the past few years, skipping the nuts (it's a texture thing for me):


                                          1. I make the Cranberry-Orange Sauce from Cook's Illustrated because it's easy and delicous. It also works great for making Cranberry Culprit cocktails (look for that recipe here on Chow).

                                            CRANBERRY-ORANGE SAUCE

                                            3/4 cup water
                                            1 cup granulated sugar
                                            1 TB freshly-grated orange zest
                                            1/4 tsp table salt
                                            1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
                                            2 TB Grand Marnier

                                            Bring water, sugar, orange zest, and salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Stir in cranberries; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until saucy, slightly thickened, and about two-thirds of berries have popped open, about 5 minutes. Off heat; stir in Grand Marnier. Transfer to nonreactive bowl, cool to room temperature, and serve.

                                            1. CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH MANDARIN ORANGE AND FIVE-SPICE

                                              CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH GREEN APPLE AND HONEY


                                              ORANGE-CRACKED BLACK PEPPER CRANBERRY SAUCE


                                              1. well, i know the initial request is a couple of years old, but since the discussion is still continuing, i'll chime in.

                                                i prefer mine chunky, so it's almost more like a compote. fresh *and* dried cranberries, frozen strawberries, chopped tart green apple, pomegranate molasses, a bit of my preferred sugar of the moment (right now it's coconut palm sugar), freshly grated ginger, fresh lime, and a touch of cinnamon & fresh nutmeg. (oh, and of course a pinch of salt!)