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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cranberry Sauce



Growing up, I never really ate cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.  When my mom married my stepdad in my teens, that was the first time the canned stuff was at our table and I never gave it a try.  Since marrying my husband, I've bought canned sauce every year and sometimes would eat it, but this year I randomly decided to make it on my own.

This is yet another Alton Brown recipe, so I had very high hopes for it.  I was slightly intimidated to make it because if it wasn't cooked properly, the sauce wouldn't gelatinize, but following the directions exactly I didn't encounter a problem.  And as for the mold - I used cute scallop shaped Jello molds for individual serving sizes for the sauce, and it really dressed up our Thanksgiving dinner.  And it tasted amazing!! I did, however, find a few berries that didn't cook long enough to burst and it was very bitter, so try to ensure that most, if not all, your berries burst during the cooking process.  The best part - you make this easy dish the day before you serve it so it has time to chill and set, so this elegant looking accompaniment will be ready for you and take no time out of your holiday preparation.  This is going to be on my list of holiday staples for upcoming years :)

Cranberry Sauce
Serves 6-8

1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup 100% cranberry juice (not cocktail)
1 cup honey


1.  Wash the cranberries and discard any that are soft or wrinkled.

2.  Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

3.  Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold or individual serving molds. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

4.  To unmold and serve, immerse bottom of mold in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds and turn upside down on plate or serving dish. If necessary, carefully run a warm knife around the edge of the mold.

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