Cranberry sauce. It's ordinary. How about we spice it up?
I'm not a canned cranberry sauce gal. That shouldn't surprise you, really. I like my fruits and veggies fresh whenever possible. In this case, I also like something a little different from the norm, not full of preservatives, and where I can control how sweet or tart I want to take it. Cranberries and apples are a classic combination. In this recipe we marry them in a mixture and accentuate their bright flavors with lemon and orange overtones.
Making your own cranberry sauce takes minutes. This modified chunky style condiment is scrumptious as a side dish, and you can spread it on a sandwich of turkey, duck, or chicken leftovers, too. Because you are using fresh fruits, it's also packed full of vitamin C.
1 pint fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 packet unflavored, unsweetened gelatin*
zest of 1 orange**
1 orange, juiced
zest of 1 lemon**
1 lemon, juiced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Zest the lemon and orange right into a large saucepan. If you zest the fruits first, it's easy. Then, you can use the same fruits for juicing.
2. Juice the lemon and orange into the same saucepan taking care so no seeds jump in.
3. Add the cranberries, apple chunks, sugar, and cinnamon. Add just enough water to bring the liquid even with the cranberries. The cranberries will float, so don't drench them. You just want to add a small amount of liquid. You are making cranberry sauce; not cranberry soup.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Do not cover it. You'll start to hear the cranberries "pop". Cook the mixture at boiling for about 10 minutes or until the apples start to soften and the cranberries have burst open.
5. Lower the heat and add the previously dissolved gelatin. (Follow the package instructions for prepping the gelatin. Usually it involves adding the gelatin to a bit of water to completely dissolve it. Do this before you add it to the cranberry sauce.)
6. Stir the gelatin into the cranberry sauce.
7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. You can serve it warm, or refrigerate it in a closed container for up to three days.
* If you can't find unflavored, unsweetened gelatin, you can substitute 3 Tbsp corn starch mixed with about a 1/2 cup of water. You must mix it thoroughly, though, until the corn starch is completely dissolved. If it's not completely dissolved, add a bit more water. Once you have this mixture prepared, you can add it to the boiling cranberry compote.
** You will only need one orange and one lemon for this recipe. Zest your fruits first; then proceed to juice them. Zesting your fruits adds maximum citrus flavor to this dish.