I had no idea that cranberry sauce could be this good until my friend Michele, an outstanding cook, told me about this recipe five years ago. She had made it for Thanksgiving and was bowled over by the flavor. It was my year to host our extended family's Christmas Eve celebration, and I was planning a traditional turkey dinner. Cranberry sauce has always been one of those things you have to serve but no one actually eats.
This was much better. While it's still cranberry sauce (there's no getting around it, it's not for everyone), it really has a much richer, deeper, spicier flavor. I've made it every year since. I use the leftovers for cookies, ice cream, and even PB&J. Thanks Michele!
So for those who prepare turkey dinners for Christmas, give this sauce a try. I think you will be pleased.
This recipe appeared in the November 14, 2007 issue of the Los Angeles Times Food section. I still have the email Michele sent me with the scanned clipping.
Oh, and I developed a taste for good Ruby Port.
Ruby Port Cranberry Sauce
1 1/2 C Port
3/4 C sugar
Spice bundle: 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 allspice berries, 4 black pepper corns, tied into a bundle with cheesecloth
2 inch by 1/2 inch strip of orange peel. Alternatively, a drop of orange oil can be substituted
1 package of cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Place everything but the cranberries into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for four minutes to reduce the wine to about one cup.
- Add the cranberries and bring the mixture to a boil again. Reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes, until the cranberries pop.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Remove the orange peel and the spice bundle.
- When fully cooled, pour into a container and refrigerate.
Note: this is one situation where a nonstick sauce pan is helpful. I use this one for reducing sweet sauces quickly. The reduction really goes fast. It's the same one I used to reduce apple cider for apple cider pie (full disclosure: neither Crate and Barrel nor Calphalon have any idea that I am endorsing their product).