For most of my life, I didn’t care one way or another about cranberry sauce. I always took the traditional holiday side dish for granted, appreciating little more than the color it added to the plate. Then everything changed.
One bite of my mother-in-law Harriet’s rendition, and I was instantly transformed into someone who craves cranberry sauce. Delivering a swift kick of tartness, her cranberry-orange relish also has a warmth about it, thanks to the addition of orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg. It doesn’t skimp on the sugar—one cup of orange juice and two cups of sugar are in the mix—but it’s not too sweet. And all the orange adds enough bitterness to balance things out. It’s actually very refined and pretty “gourmet”.
Harriet adapted this recipe from a newspaper article years and years ago. It’s very easy to follow, but looks pretty impressive when all is boiled and chilled. If you make it for a holiday party or Christmas dinner, you’ll inspire lots of compliments and probably even some cranberry sauce converts.
Check out the easy recipe after the jump.
Here’s what you need:
1 lb. fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup orange juice
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Peel of two oranges, coarsely chopped or ground (I also add one whole orange, chopped).
Pour cranberries into a saucepan. Mix in orange juice, sugar, a blend of the spices and orange peel. Bring mixture to boiling; stir occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries are tender (at least one hour), continuing to stir occasionally. Remove from heat and cool. Spoon into a container and store in refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it.