Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cranberry Sauce: Look Ma, No Cans!

The players: an orange, a bag of cranberries, and a cup of sugar

Thanksgiving is - gasp! - just a few days away. Last year, Beth and Daniel visited us here in Austin, and we had a grand time. This year, it will be just Oscar and me and the girls, plus Oscar's mom, who arrives tomorrow.

If you're still planning to pull a can from the pantry when it's time to serve the cranberry sauce at your holiday table, please consider trying this fresh, no-cook cranberry sauce instead. It's so easy, so simple, so fresh, and so very delicious. Try it; I'll be very surprised if you decide to go back to the canned stuff after this. Also, keep in mind that this sauce has great versatility - it goes well with turkey, of course, but it is also an excellent companion with practically any meat or fowl.

This recipe comes from my trusty, tattered Joy of Cooking, which we received as a wedding present nearly nine years ago. The binding is barely holding on, but there are still many good things to make from it's pages. My Joy says you should make this at least two days before serving to allow the flavors to mellow, since the whole orange - rind and all - is used, but I've made it right before serving, and still thoroughly enjoyed it. Besides, I don't think a bowl of this stuff would last that long in my refrigerator. Oscar and I have been known to eat this by the spoonful, all by itself. Yes, it's that good.

Uncooked Cranberry-Orange Relish
from Joy of Cooking

One 12-oz package of cranberries
1 orange, un-peeled
1 cup sugar

Pick over and rinse the cranberries, discarding any that are soft, spotted, or discolored. Cut the orange into pieces and remove seeds (if present). Place half of the cranberries and half of the orange in a food processor (see note below).

Pulse until mixture is evenly chopped, but not pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl; repeat with remaining cranberries and orange. Stir in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

We enjoyed our cranberry relish the other night with a pork loin roast.

My Joy says this will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, but I find that information entirely inaccurate. We eat all of ours in just a day or two - it has never lasted two weeks in this house! I guess I'll have to make more next week.

Note: If you do not have a food processor, this can also be made in a blender. I did it last year. You'll have to stop and scrap down the sides a few times before getting a satisfactory texture, but it will work.


Anonymous said...

Your grandma Ruth used to make this very same cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving. She had a metal grinder that attached by screwing it to the counter edge...and sometimes I turned the handle to help. I always looked forward to eating it.
Sometimes she added a few nuts to grind in, but I know your not too keen on nuts.

Julie said...

Mom, I remember you've mentioned this before. I do think of Grandma Ruth every time we have this.

marjorie said...

I love making my own too. I add some currants and some almonds also and make more of a relish. It is wonderful in a Cranberry-Raspberry Salad that my family loves.

Julie said...

Marjorie, sounds delish! I'd love to hear more about your cranberry-raspberry salad.


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