For anyone preparing to embark on the cranberry sauce making journey you should know that your basic cranberry sauce recipes contains only three ingredients: cranberries, water and a sugar/sweetener of some kind. The fun begins when you add your own personality to the recipe by tweaking and adding to the one or more of the 3 ingredients. You can replace water with orange or pineapple juice and or substitute brown sugar or maple syrup for the sugar, well you get the picture.
You don’t need a doctorate in fruit-ology to pick out good fresh cranberries. They typically come in a 12 oz to 1 lb. bag, be firm to the touch, should be bright to dark red, shiny and plump. They’re high in vitamin C and fiber and are especially high in antioxidants. You can store your fresh cranberries in your refrigerator for up to two months or freeze them for up to a year. Approx. 12 oz. of fresh cranberries will net you about 3 cups of whole cranberries or 2 1/3 to 2 1/2 cups chopped cranberries.
The following recipes are a nice cross section between sweet and savory salsa, sauces and relishes. Feel free to alter the amount of sugar or hot to any of the recipes as they’re all very forgiving.
CARAMALIZED CRANBERRY SAUCE (pareve)
1 tablespoon oil
1 red onion, cut into thin rings
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the hot oil stir for a minute then add the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer temperature, cover the onions and let them cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and very soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat and cook the onions, stirring for 2 or 3 more minutes. Add the cranberries, remaining sugar, a pinch more salt and the water. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, cover and let cool to room temperature. Serve either room temperature or warm. Makes approx. 3 cups.
CRAN AND BERRY RELISH (pareve)
3 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup apple juice
1 pear, chopped fine
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped fine
zest of 1 orange or lemon
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
In a saucepan combine the cranberries and apple juice and cook until the cranberries split open. Mash the berries lightly. Add the chopped pear, apple and orange rind and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the brown sugar and honey. Simmer, stirring often, until the fruit is soft about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix to combine. Remove the relish from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Makes 4 cups.
Modified from a recipe submitted by Connie Kadish Teneck NJ