A good cranberry sauce should balance the natural piquancy of cranberries without being puckeringly sour. It should have a texture in which you can clearly differentiate the cranberries — with a lots nearly whole so that the berries pop in your mouth. Cranberries and oranges have a natural affinity that can border on cliché. This sauce uses orange peel to add character to the taste of orange and a generous amount of ginger to add another layer of flavor and a slight undercurrent of heat. Use this cranberry sauce with your Thanksgiving turkey, add some to post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches or use with roast pork or grilled chicken.
Do ahead Sauce may be fully made and refrigerated up to three weeks.
1 large orange
1 1/2 cups orange juice, fresh preferred
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 1/2-2 inch piece ginger, depending on how thick it is
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries*
1. With a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from one half orange taking care not to remove the white pith. Make several piles of peel. If the peel strips are long, cut in half lengthwise to make cutting more manageable. Cut stacks of peel into a julienne (thin strips) of irregular thickness. Cut julienne into irregular, but small pieces yielding 1 1/2 tablespoons.
2. Peel ginger completely removing tough outer skin. Dice ginger into small, but irregular pieces yielding about 2 1/2 tablespoons.
3. In a 1 1/2 quart pot, combine orange juice, sugar, orange peel and ginger. Bring just to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Slowly simmer for 10 minutes to infuse mixture with ginger flavor. You do not want to reduce liquid.
4. Add fresh cranberries to pot. Increase heat to moderate. Stir occasionally and cook for about 7-10 minutes as cranberries pop and begin to break down. Berries will continue to break down in the hot liquid as it cools. Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries. Chill. Serve cold or room temperature.
Yield 3 1/2 cups serving 12-14
Adjusting thickness of cranberry sauce: This cranberry sauce should have a firm consistency so that it will hold its shape on a spoon and then fall off when you tilt the spoon. If it just sits on the spoon it is too thick. Thin by stirring in a little water, but take care that it does not become runny.
*Leftover dried cranberries make an excellent addition to a mixed green salad with some walnuts and fresh goat cheese.
What Guests Can Do To Help
Numbers of readers have offered great suggestions for our list. Please post your suggestions for What Guests Can Do To Help on this blog by using the “Leave a Comment” under this post or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I need your help now to come up with a great list to share with Thanksgiving hosts and I will need your help later in sharing the list. Let’s work on this together over the next two weeks.
The Perfect Gift for Your Thanksgiving Host
At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining with At Home Online, the companion website for book owners, is the perfect house gift to bring to your Thanksgiving host. At Home is not available in bookstores, but only from athomebysteveposes.com. Order now in plenty of time for Thanksgiving.
For the Organized Entertainer looking for their one relaxed hour prior to guests arrive for Thanksgiving, this coming weekend is a key time to get lots done. Our Thanksgiving Planner tells you what. Our Top Ten Thanksgiving Host Pitfalls and to how to avoid them plus our Thanksgiving Planner is available at athomebysteveposes.com.