Is Cranberry Sauce a side dish or a condiment? I guess it depends upon how much you like it. If you take a really big helping, does it fall into the same category as mashed potatoes, dressing or creamed corn? I don’t know – Cranberry Sauce is it’s own unique bowl of berries that not only compliments most things on your Thanksgiving plate, but it actually has real purpose – it cuts the richness from the other foods.
Cranberries are super tart as you must know and the acid highlights the flavors of the entire meal. I think this sauce should have a much bigger priority on the menu than it does on most tables, and it definitely needs to be made from scratch.
Omit those jello-o like cans of squishy red stuff – they are so passe’. I never really understood what’s to like even as a child, the long cylinder sauce that jiggled out of a can with permanent rings around it just sat there and stared at me.
However, when you put together a few cups of fresh cranberries, a little sugar and some orange juice and zest – it changes the entire situation. This year, I folded a fresh pear into the mix to mellow things out a bit. I think it gives the Cranberry Sauce nice balance – I think you will agree.
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1/2 an orange
1 cup orange juice
1 pear, peeled and diced
- In a saucepan, add all ingredients except diced pear. Place pan over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes, until you hear cranberries begin to pop.
- Stir sauce and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes and turn off heat. Let sauce rest in pan for 5 minutes.
- Pour into a heat-proof bowl and let rest on counter until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. You can prepare up to 4 days ahead. Enjoy!