It’s that time of year! I love cranberry sauce. I can eat bowls of that wonderfully tart/sweet/chewy/oranginess that appears this time of the year. It’s easy and simply put…gorgeous. This version is a bit different, since it has wedges of Clementines that remain in the finished sauce. In the above version I chopped the Clementine wedges to make eating easier. I was presenting this for sampling for a talk I was giving on “Flavors of the Season”. I sometimes add pink peppercorns, too. Cranberry Sauce isn’t just a side for Thanksgiving, but really quite wonderful served slightly warm or very cold with good vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge…it’s seriously delicious that way.
- 6 Clementines
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 whole allspice berries
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 1 vanilla bean, slit open (optional-see NOTE)
- 2 cups white sugar
- 6 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (2 12-ounce bags)
- 2-3 tablespoon pink peppercorns (optional)
Run the Clementines under hot water for 2 minutes to remove the wax. Leaving the skin on, cut them into sections and remove the seeds; I cut them into sixths.
Combine the water, Clementines and whole spices; bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes. You should be able to just pierce the skin with the tip of a paring knife. Add the sugar and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Add the cranberries to the mixture; cook for another 10 minutes; stirring 2 or 3 times. Not all of the cranberries will pop; do not overcook.
Remove from the heat and stir in the pink peppercorns, if using; cool to room temperature and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. The mixture will thicken as it chills. Remove the whole spices; serve slightly chilled in a cut-glass bowl, if you have one. Keeps for at least 2 weeks under refrigeration.
COOK’S NOTE: Just a note about sweetness…I prefer a rather tart sauce, so taste the sauce about 5 minutes into the final cooking with the cranberries. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.
Cranberry-Clementine Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2014. All rights reserved.
Look at those Clementines all snuggled in with their whole spices…very cozy.
You want there to be at least 75% whole berries, but they do need to be tender. Look at those lovely pink peppercorns just resting.
- You can add some apple chunks near the end of cooking, if you wish. You can swap 1 cup of the water for 1 cup of apple cider, but the end result will be much thicker, almost jellied.
- For a seasonal cocktail sauce, add some horseradish and chili sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice; use with shrimp or crabmeat.
- I do rather like this with 1/2 a vanilla bean added, particularly if I’m serving this as a dessert with good vanilla ice cream. This is best made at least 24 hours ahead.
- Combine some 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3/4 cup cranberry sauce for a great sandwich spread.
- If you decided to use the star anise, I usually add it with the cranberries. Star anise has a very intense flavor that can over-power all the all the other flavors. Then I remove it after the mixture cools, but before I chill it. If you like the flavor, by all means, leave it in…make this sauce yours and enjoy the holiday.