As the holiday season approaches, it's the perfect time to gather around the table and indulge in delightful culinary traditions. Growing up in Germany, the star of our festive gatherings was a beautifully stuffed goose, rich with the flavors of apples, onions, raisins, and the aromatic touch of marjoram. However, upon arriving in America, I encountered the cherished tradition of a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner adorned with a classic turkey accompanied by bread stuffing and a side of cranberry sauce—a new flavor profile that I eagerly acclimated to over the years.
In my culinary journey, I've delved into perfecting my own renditions of stuffing and cranberry sauce. Today, I'm thrilled to share with you my absolute favorite cranberry sauce recipe that has become a treasured part of our holiday table. This recipe encapsulates the essence of the season with its blend of apple, orange, a hint of cinnamon, and a touch of ground cloves. Absolutely divine and incredibly easy to make in just about 15 minutes.
Here's what you'll need:
About 3 cups of fresh cranberries (rinsed and picked through)
1 Apple (like Granny Smith or McIntosh), finely chopped (no need to peel!)
Juice from 1 Orange and 1 Piece of Orange peel
About 3/4 cups sugar (adjust to taste). I use brown, but white works too!
2 cups of water
A cinnamon stick
About 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (substitute w/allspice, nutmeg, cardamom etc.)
A pinch of salt
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, orange juice, and water. Add the remaining ingredients including the orange peel and bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes until most cranberries have burst, the apple is tender and the sauce has thickened. Adjust sweetness to taste by adding a bit more sugar (or honey/maple syrup) if desired (this helps also to offset the bitter sharp taste of the cranberries) and simmer for a few extra minutes to dissolve completely. An extra pinch of salt with also help to balance bitter notes.
Allow this sweet and tart goodness to cool down and refrigerate until ready to use. The best part? You can make this sauce several days in advance to ease holiday prep.
Let's kick-start the holiday season with these delectable flavors that epitomize the spirit of togetherness and festive cheer. If you choose to make this delightful cranberry sauce, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. The holidays are officially here, my friends, so let's savor each moment as we welcome this joyous season together.
Warmest holiday regards,