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Cranberry Sauce

We're having a Thanksgiving potluck lunch at work, and I signed up to bring cranberry sauce.

I've never made it before but there are SO many recipes out there with good reviews.

I'm looking for a pretty easy but excellently flavored cranberry sauce (chutney, whatever...no jelly though) that I can bring to work for this function.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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  1. I have a feeling you're going to get a big response to this query.

    I like the basic raw cranberry relish from the back of the Ocean Spray package, the one with orange. Easy to make (a few days on advance) and keeps well. Chopped walnuts or pecans can be added to this, or even raisins or currants, and I have added, in different years, a nip of port wine, brandy or Gran Marnier.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Lately I've been adding dried bing cherries from Trader Joes.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        Concur with the basic recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray Cranberry bag. The only thing I add to the basic recipe is some candied ginger, which I chop very finely of just press between my finger tips.

        1. re: koshermasterchef

          Cook's Country magazine recommends cutting back the water to 3/4 cup, saying a full cup makes the sauce too loose, and to stop cooking when the berries have just popped.

          I like the idea of their version using ginger beer or strong ginger ale (like Reed's or Stewart's) instead of water.

          1. re: greygarious

            One cup is perfect if you use 16z cranberries, so I use a bag and a half. Old recipes call for 16z but bags now are 12z. That's the reason it is too loose.

      2. Follow directions on the package for the cooked cranberry sauce, except sub red wine (cabernet or merlot) for the water in the recipe. Add a few shreds of orange peel. Fantastic and easy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nyleve

          Yep, the cabernet cranberries are lovely and I like using tangerine zest if possible for even more flavor...and a cinnamon stick.

        2. I've posted my cranberry sauce with Gran Marnier , but even easier I just made yesterday, Jezebel cranberry sauce I found here. It sounds weird but I am in love with it. I made a pot of both, either will take you less than a half hour and couldn't be easier.
          Gran Marnier http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/280828
          Jezebel http://ferfood.blogspot.com/2006/11/c... (this one is going to be great on the next day sandwiches)

          7 Replies
          1. re: coll

            i love jezebel sauce, and think a little orange zest would be a good addition. i wouldn't add gran marnier for the office -- or any booze.
            i've done the ocean spray recipe, adding jalapeños and a bit of toasted ground cumin.

            1. re: alkapal

              Actually you cook off the booze, but my office would like it better if I didn't. The two batches I made the other day, I used passionfruit juice since I had an open bottle, I liked it even better than orange juice. Never water for me!

              1. re: coll

                booze doesn't ever completely "cook off." and, without anything specific to cite, i think that the sweet, viscous, thick base of the sauce makes it even less likely that the alcohol will volatilize. this seems intuitive to me, but it may be completely off-base. would any food scientists care to weigh in? please?

                i like the idea of the passionfruit juice. what brand do you use? (i love passionfruit yogurt, i think from la yogurt?).

                1. re: alkapal

                  I'm sure there's still a LITTLE alcohol left and that's why my family loves it so!

                  Passion Fruit juice I always have a couple of bottles around, mainly for cocktails, they're usually Goya or other brand like that. The one in the bottle is superior to the one in the can but can't always be picky!

                  1. re: coll

                    have you ever tried "la belle orange" as a sub for gran marnier? it is about the same in flavor (esp. if one is not sipping it neat) and is much less expensive -- maybe $15 per bottle cheaper, iirc.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Haven't seen that one, but I do sub other Triple Sec type liqueurs, I'm not totally devoted to Gran Marnier, it's way too sweet anyway. I'll have to look before the holidays, thanks.

                      1. re: coll

                        i was introduced to it by the folks at schneider's liquor store on capitol hill. (great place, that store).

            1. Oh, gosh, this is the most fun I have every time I have to make it, as I always come up with some variation on the recipe, and the rewards are so great compared to the (almost negligible) effort.

              How many people are you preparing it for?

              I highly recommend this recipe, which you can enhance any way you decide, by substituting wine or orange juice for the water. I often add a couple of tablespoons of marmalade or jam to it. You could also add some dried fruit, but I wouldn't add more than 1/4 cup of raisins, dried cherries, etc., in all, and this will require the addition of more water.


              Anyway, the basic recipe is easy--cranberries, water, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, honey, and brown sugar (though you could substitute more brown sugar if you don't have honey, or more honey if you don't have brown sugar -- or, in a pinch, use all white sugar).

              1. There are probably recipes for this - I haven't looked. I think it would be good to use pomegranate juice to cook the cranberries in, and then to add uncooked pomegranate kernels to the cooled sauce.

                1. Spiced cranberry sauce is my favorite. Few ingredients, easy to prepare, and tastes and looks really, really great.

                  Spiced Cranberries

                  4 cups fresh cranberries
                  2 cups water
                  3 cups sugar
                  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                  ½ teaspoon ground cloves
                  Pinch of ground ginger

                  Wash berries and drain; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. (Use a really big saucepan -- the sugar syrup really boils and foams up). Add the cranberries and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins pop. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool. Chill until ready to serve.
                  Yield: 2 cups.

                  1. This is a nice tangy cranberry chutney that i make throughout the year. I always buy extra and freeze them for later.

                    Cranberry Ginger Chutney
                    1-1/2 C. sugar
                    3/4 C. apple cider vinegar
                    1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries
                    1 large pear poeeled and cored cut into cubes
                    1/4 C. chopped fresh ginger
                    1/4 tsp crushed pepper flakes
                    stir sugar into vinegar, dissolve
                    add all other ing.
                    bring to a boil, reduuce heat and cook until thickened about 20 min. stir occasionally
                    add s and p
                    chill before serving

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JEN10

                      Trader Joe's has an Apple-Cranberry Chutney that is mild, but nice for turkey sandwiches and something that children and others who may not like a more intense chutney will accept.

                    2. Thanks, all - these have been very helpful!!!

                      1. Never Fail Whole Cranberry Sauce

                        12 oz can frozen Apple Juice concentrate.
                        12 oz pkg. Cranberries (about 3 measuring cups).
                        2 Tbs Sugar (white or brown)
                        2 Tbs Lemon Juice

                        2 Tbs Rum or Cognac or ¼ C. Red Wine
                        Finely chopped citrus peel
                        Small tart chopped apple or ¼ C. raisons
                        1 Tbs horseradish (if to be used only as a meat sauce)

                        Bring Concentrated Apple Juice to a boil while rinsing cranberries through a sieve.
                        Add the rinsed and drained cranberries, sugar, lemon juice, and rum (or other optionals).
                        Bring back to simmer, lower heat and cover.
                        Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
                        If sauce is too thin, simmer additional five minutes without cover, stirring occasionally.

                        This is best served warm. Encourage guests to spread over their meat and dressing – European style.

                        Leftover cranberry sauce makes a wonderful topping for ice cream and yogurt.
                        Use instead of jam on your morning toast and peanut butter.
                        Cranberry sauce is a popular European topping for wild game.

                        1. Using the cranberry sauce recipe on the back of the bag, I also add two cups of chopped apples, making it a cranberry applesauce. The apples cut down on the sweetness of the cranberries and add a nice underflavor.

                          Also, before making the sauce be careful to go through and remove any bad berries. You don't want them. You will know then if they are soft and mushy, off color, or if they don't bounce.

                          Good luck.

                          1. Wonderful recipes!
                            This year I'm making a cranberry relish, a pear sauce and an apple-orange chutney for the turkey. On a tray all three look so pretty together.

                            1. I use the one on the back of the Ocean Spray bag but substitute orange juice for the water. You can then use a little less sugar, because of the sweetness of the juice. It's great and we make it every year.

                              1. This years was :
                                Peel and juice from orange
                                fresh grated ginger
                                liberal couple of shots of amaretto
                                finely chopped shallots
                                pinch of salt grind of pepper
                                couple of chopped roasted poblanos (chipotles work well also)