Advice for the holidays
By mduigou on Dec 02, 2008
This holiday disaster can be averted by preparing your own much tastier cranberry sauce from scratch.
1lb/500g bag of fresh or frozen cranberries 1.5 cups of orange juice (approx). 1.5 cups of red port wine (approx). dash of salt 2 cinnamon sticks 1 cup of sugar (approx./to taste) zest of one orange or lemon (optional) Ingredient notes If cranberries are fresh then put them in the freezer overnight. Freezing breaks the cell walls and they cook more quickly. I used to buy fresh berries but now just buy frozen if they are available. Unless the berries are really old and have "freezer funk" you won't be able to tell the difference. I use frozen or "from concentrate" orange juice. Fresh orange juice is wasted on this recipe. You must use a very cheap port for this recipe. If it doesn't have a screw cap, you're doing it wrong! Cheap port has the right mix of acidity, sugar and grapeiness to balance it's otherwise awful taste. The subtle, refined good taste of fine port can't stand up to the rest of the flavours in this recipe. You must use wino port. The cranberries, juice and port all have varying amounts of sugar so you have to adjust the sugar to your taste. As the sauce cools it will taste less sweet. Directions Put frozen berries into a bowl of water big enough so that they float. Pick out anything you wouldn't want to eat. This includes green berries, moldy berries, dry shrivelled berries, leaves, sticks, dirt, etc. Transfer cleaned berries to a small pot. The pot should be about half full with the berries in it. Add orange juice and port in equal measure until some of the berries just begin to float. Add the cinnamon stick, salt and optional citrus zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours stirring every half hour. When most of the berries have lost their shape the sauce is done cooking. Turn off the heat and allow sauce to cool for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and gel as it cools. Stir in the sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time tasting after each addition to see if the sauce is sweet enough. Sauce can be served warm or can be chilled before serving in the refrigerator.