Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zesty Cranberry-Cherry Sauce

I know there are people out there that slap the store-bought cranberry sauce out of the can and just love it. I'm sorry, but I just can't get on board with that. I never liked that congealed cranberry jello... I always wanted the homemade, chunky stuff that sticks to your ribs. I love the spiced, zesty flavor that you can add to it, and I just love love love the texture. So, when I decided to come up with my own recipe, I knew that I wanted one that had a sweet little kick, and a great chunkiness to boot. But, how do you achieve that when you are cooking down the cranberries until they lose all substance whatsoever? You add dried fruit that can re-plump in the sauce. And while at the grocery store, I reached for some dried cranberries, and saw dried cherries, and I thought that cherries would add an amazing sweetness to the sauce to help with the depth of flavor. The mixture of cranberries & cherries is awesome, and I still can't get over this compote-like sauce that develops. As the sauce cooks down, your house starts to smell like a big ole' batch of mulled red wine, and what's not amazing about that? I really love this stuff. It stole my heart on Thanksgiving, and I can't wait to make it again next year!! Enjoy :)
Zesty Cranberry-Cherry Sauce
For the Sauce:
1C Orange Juice, Freshly Squeezed
1C Water
1C Sugar
2 Oranges, Zested
2 Cinnamon Sticks
½t Ground Cloves
Freshly Grated Ginger
4C Fresh Cranberries
1C Dried Cherries
1C Dried Cranberries
¼C Honey

1. Wash and Pick over the cranberries. In a saucepan, bring the orange juice, orange zest, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries burst.
2. Add the dried cherries and dried cranberries to the cranberries and simmer for about 5 minutes or just until the cherries begin to plump, but still remain chewy. Add honey to sweeten slightly. Remove the cinnamon stick.
3. Remove from heat and cool completely at room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator overnight. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

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