I was in Target the other day and I had to laugh to myself. We’re just a few days past Halloween and already the store is adorned in Christmas decorations. I walked over to that area and the aisles are stocked with wrapping paper, ornaments and lights. It’s eighty degrees in Los Angeles, the leaves haven’t even started to fall, and I’m not ready to muster up that holiday spirit just yet.
I am however, in the early stages of Thanksgiving preparations. I’m starting to ponder what dishes I will make this year. Every holiday I like to add a new dish to my repertoire. I do have some creative ideas for desserts I’ve never done before, but then there are those family favorite dishes which will always remain a fixture in my Thanksgiving dinner. For the past 30 years I’ve made my Aunt Evelyn’s sweet potato and apple casserole topped with marshmallows. I loved it as a kid and my two sons dig into it as soon as I place it on table.
Growing up in the sixties I remember my mother serving cranberry sauce with our turkey. I can still picture that Ocean Spray can and the gelatinous, cylindrical shaped cranberry concoction that came out of it. (It should be noted that my mother is a very good cook, except for the cranberry sauce). For many years I believed that was the only way you could eat cranberry sauce. About five years ago I decided to give the cranberry a second chance, and I’m glad I did.
This cranberry sauce is so good, I just eat it out of the container for several days after the holiday. It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s spicy! Just say no to the can.
Autumn Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- 1/2 orange
- 2 cups water
- 1 tart apple, Granny Smith or Pippin
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Squeeze the juice from the 1/2 orange and set aside. Remove and discard the membrane and pith (the white part) from the inside of the orange and cut the rind into a very small dice. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
- Peel, core and quarter the appale. Cut into a 1/2 inch dice and place in a medium saucepan. Sort the cranberries and discard any soft ones. Add cranberries to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for one hour. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving.