Homemade Cranberry sauce is a very classic sauce in the USA for Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, it is not very well known in France.
The recipe I suggest is tangy and sweet just right. It is super-fast to make and takes little time to cook.
What to serve homemade cranberry sauce with?
In the USA and Canada, the answer is simple: turkey for Thanksgiving!
The British serve it with turkey, again, for Christmas.
While in France and more generally in Europe, it can be used for many other things. Indeed, its acidulous and sweet sides, allow you to use it either on a sweet dish or on a salty dish.
Indeed, you can serve it with chicken, duck, pork, or game. You can also use it as a jam on bread, scones, French toast, waffles, or pancakes.
It also goes well with certain cheeses, an Ossau Iraty for example, or a slightly aged Brie.
Making it simpler is difficult. You need three ingredients:
- fresh (or frozen) cranberries,
- brown sugar,
- fresh orange juice.
16 ideas to twist the recipe
The recipe, although very simple, can be twisted. I'll give you some examples, but it's not exhaustive. And don't forget that you can mix them.
Dry cranberries: Mix fresh and dried cranberries,
Berries: Add blueberries, raspberries, currants, etc. to the cranberries. But remember to change the name to Berries Sauce.
Dried apricots: You can also add diced dried apricots to the recipe. This sweetens the recipe but goes very well with poultry.
Pomegranate: Use fresh pomegranate and pomegranate juice to replace the orange juice.
Pineapple: Add diced pineapple and juice to the recipe. A change of scenery is guaranteed.
Figs: Cut up some figs and add them to the mixture before cooking.
Lemon: Replace or mix the orange juice with lemon juice. You can also add the zest to the sauce.
Orange zest: Add the zest of an orange to the sauce.
Cinnamon: Add a pinch of cinnamon to the sauce to give it more of a holiday flavor,
Ginger: Grate some fresh ginger into the orange juice. This will gently spice up your sauce without making your mouth water.
Vanilla: Split a vanilla bean in half and add the seeds and shell directly into the sauce before cooking. Great with duck.
Honey: Replace brown sugar with honey.
Walnuts: walnut, pecan, or hazelnut. Remember to crush them first, or even roast them lightly.
Chilli: Add chili to the sauce. Either fresh, dry, or from the chili sauce.
Thyme: This will give the sauce an herbaceous note.
Red wine: Use red wine instead of orange juice. It will kick your recipe. And kids can eat it, as the alcohol in the wine evaporates during cooking.
Tips & tricks
The cranberry sauce is ready. The pectin (natural sugar) contained in the cranberries thickens the sauce. It then takes the consistency of a jam. Don't forget that it will thicken even more as it cools.
If your cranberry sauce is too thick, add a little water or orange juice to loosen it up before removing it from the heat, it's that easy!
Cranberry sauce is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. Don't hesitate to prepare the sauce a few days before the meal, and take it out two hours before the meal.
Properly stored, homemade cranberry sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days.
Yes, you can freeze cranberry sauce!