October 21, 2018

What’s Cooking?

By Cristina Clarimon-Alinder

Cranberry sauce

Everybody has a favorite food during the holidays. Mine is cranberry sauce. I look forward to this treat every year with much anticipation and delight. I can easily overlook the turkey or the mashed potatoes, but I never forget to have a generous amount of cranberry sauce on my plate. Besides, since I have never had a predilection for anything sweet, these tart berries really hit the spot for me.

For years, I have wondered about that sad, gelatinous version of cranberry sauce that comes in a can. It contains very little cranberry and a whole lot of sugar. That resounding “plop” that you hear when it comes out of the can might be the best (and most nutritious) aspect of it. If you are going to consume that much sugar, you should really be waiting until your dessert comes around. In any case, the flat taste of that type of cranberry sauce is just not right. It simply won’t do.

Surprisingly, homemade cranberry sauce is very easy to make. There is no reason why anyone should just sit back and settle for slicing some goopy jelly right out of a can. No amount of convenience compensates you for having to eat that stuff.

This year, try a new approach and make this delicious version of the traditional cranberry sauce. It’ll take no time at all, and your family will be delighted with the results.

Cranberry Sauce

1 lb fresh cranberries

1/2 large orange (juice & zest)

1 tsp finely chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup pure cherry juice

Rinse the cranberries and place in a pot. Mince the crystallized ginger (it’ll add a negligible amount of sugar) and add it to the pot. Zest the orange into the pot as well, and then squeeze the orange juice over the cranberries. Do this over a colander to avoid having to fish for the seeds.

Set the temperature on medium heat and watch the cranberries as they start to simmer and fall apart. Stir constantly to keep the cranberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the maple syrup and the cherry juice. The cherry flavor will give your sauce an unexpected depth. Simmer gently with a lid on until the sauce thickens. Do not overcook it. This sauce tends to become even more solid as it cools. You can keep it in the refrigerator until the next day. Bring it to the table at room temperature.

Cristina Clarimon-Alinder moved to Williston in 2016. She is originally from Madrid, Spain. She enjoys gardening, cooking and watching classic movies. For more of her writings, visit nectarnc.com.

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