Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Day Gorging Part I

As you might have guessed, I cook Thanksgiving dinner in my family.  I love making huge feasts, setting the table with nice stuff and generally enjoying a big family meal.  Oh and the holiday magazines!  I love trying out recipes from magazines (and, you know, using my family as guinea pigs).  Today's featured recipe came out of said holiday magazine (okay, so technically it was on their website!): Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce, submitted by Leslie Sutherland of Fort Worth Texas to Southern Living.  I have long hated cranberry sauce (glaring at the previously canned blob from across the table each Thanksgiving) and been puzzled as to why it was a Thanksgiving staple.  Last year, I wanted to make some from scratch but was talked out of it after being told what a pain in the patootie it was.  This year I stuck to my guns, did my research and found Grandma Erma's delicious cranberry sauce, which is exceedingly nom-worthy.

What You'll Need
3 quart saucepan                                                        Blender or Food Processor
Stirring spoon                                                             Air tight storage container
Measuring cups
4 cups fresh cranberries                                             1/2 cup port
2 cups sugar                                                                1/4 cup orange liqueur
3/4 cup water

Now Let's Make Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce!
Please visit the site for the original recipe, linked above; below is my own rendition with details (as usual) based on the cooking experience. 

Begin by measuring out 4 cups of cranberries.  This is about 1 2/3 bags of Oceanspray cranberries; I have a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup, that I filled up to the brim, which is slightly more than 4 cups. (greedy, greedy) Set the cranberries aside.

In your 3-qt saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup port, and 3/4 cup water, stir until well mixed and sugar has begun to dissolve.  Don't worry too much about the quality of the port, either (unless you want to/can afford to); I used a cheap port picked up in my local grocery store (granted, it was the only one they had...).  Add your cranberries and stir the mixture around a bit.

Heat the mixture over medium high heat. To begin with you will have many more cranberries than liquid, so don't worry. The cranberries will cook down a bit.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.  Cook until the cranberries begin to crack.  The original recipe says to cook for about 8-10 minutes; I found that mine took about 10.  Don't pull it off the heat at the first sign of cracking, let the majority of the cranberries split open first. Once this has happened, remove it from the heat and let it cool at least 15 minutes.

Now pulse!
Once the cranberries have cooled, pour the mixture into your blender or food processor (hold the lid down tightly if you use a blender; ask me how I know). Blend the mixture on a low setting until the cranberries have reached your desired consistency.  This can be pureed, as the original recipe recommends, or you can leave some the cranberries still partially in tact (as I prefer).

Pour this into the storage container, and stir in 1/4 cup of orange liqueur.  Southern Living tested with Grand Marnier, but I used Gran Gala, so I doubt brand matters too much. Seal the container and chill for at least 8 hours before serving.  I made mine two days before the big day. Serve with your favorite feast (or feast leftovers, as the case may be); I know I'll be whipping it up again for Christmas.  This recipe took me for a 180; I now eye cranberry sauce with longing rather than loathing. And, it was super easy, too.

Om nom nom



  1. Oh yum! I will have to try that at Christmas!

  2. It's very good. Definitely one of my favorites now.


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