Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cranberry Sauce

I went to the grocery store on Monday, and the butcher was clearing out the freezer bins to stock with turkeys.  Before Halloween?  I'm waiting until the "spend $25 and get your turkey for $10" specials start.  So far, there are only going to be 8 of us, at the most 10, so I can get a 14 lb or under.  There are usually plenty of those until mid-November.

There are a few reasons to make your own cranberry sauce instead of opening a can.  Mainly, it's bragging rights.  Personally, I prefer the can, but I had 2/3 of a bag of cranberries left after the pumpkin-cranberry muffins, and what else am I going to do with them?  Since we're a month out from the big day, I have to process the jars.  15 minutes in a boiling water bath is enough to preserve it.  I also keep it refrigerated, to be extra sure.  One of the jars didn't seal, so I froze it.  Hope it defrosts with the same texture.

This is one of those recipes that tastes better the less you mess with it.  A touch of orange juice or apple cider, maybe a bit of cloves or cinnamon, and you've given it your personal mark.  There's no reason to go overboard with flavorings unless you're trying to make it into something really different.  If this is what you're serving with the bird, no one expects - or wants - anything unusual.

1 12oz bag fresh cranberries
1 C sugar
1/2 C water
2 Tb orange juice
dash ginger

1.  Rinse cranberries thoroughly and place in a clear bowl of water.  Throw out anything that doesn't float.  Drain.  Change clothes into something that isn't white.

2.  Combine 1/2 C water and the sugar in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium until sugar dissolves.  Add cranberries and bring to a low boil.  As skins begin to pop, stand back.  Stir frequently.  Once all the skins have popped, continue to boil and stir until berries have softened and you have achieved the texture you want.  Add ginger and orange juice and boil another minute.

3.  Either place in a container for the fridge or pour into jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.  If just refrigerating, allow to stop steaming before putting on a lid; use within one week.

Makes about one pint

Difficulty rating  π

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