The first time I met my husband’s small extended family was during the holidays. They had been nothing but lovely and welcoming, so I set aside my nervousness and finally relaxed. As if on cue, his uncle quieted the room and announced he needed to ask me a question; “Canned cranberry sauce or fresh cranberry sauce?” Sure, this was not the dreaded holiday political conversation, but I could feel the energy shift to a mix of childish excitement and parental exasperation. I was casting a critical vote. “Canned”. I unknowingly held the party line BUT….what had happened was I tasted this cranberry sauce and I have since broken ranks.
This recipe is from a talented team member at the La Fournette Bakery’s production kitchen in Chicago. I enjoy the thick, jammy and slightly chunky texture of this recipe. The tartness is nicely offset by the sweetness of the dried cranberries, brown sugar, honey and grenadine. The surprise addition is ground black pepper mixed in after cooking that adds warmth to the sauce. Measure everything into a 2 quart saucepan for easy clean up.
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes Yield: 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups
2 heaping cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
Scant ½ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup dry red wine
Scant ⅛ cup grenadine
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black ground pepper
- Add all the ingredients except the black pepper to a 2 quart saucepan and stir.
- Set the saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to a full boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir.
- Allow the mixture to simmer uncovered until the cranberries begin to burst and the liquid significantly reduces. Stir occasionally.
- The mixture will darken and become jammy. Use a heat proof spatula to gently mash any cranberries that have not popped. Use your judgement to create a texture you prefer.
- The liquid should have reduced until there is no liquid at the bottom of the pan- just jammy smears. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the ground black pepper.
- Store the cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.