Today I want to share my recipe for the most neglected item at everyone’s Thanksgiving feast: the cranberry sauce. Why do other dishes get planned days or weeks in advance while cranberry sauce is just plopped onto a saucer straight from a tin can and we call it a day? Think about it: It stays in the shape of the can and you literally have to mutilate it with a fork to give it any sense of appeal or illusion of edibility. How depressing. Surely we can do better than that.
Only three ingredients are essential to making any cranberry sauce: sugar, water, and cranberries. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless. With my family, sometimes getting them to put aside their preference for the canned stuff to try homemade sauce can be half the battle so I don’t go nuts with adaptations to the recipe. My goal is to cut the natural tartness of the raw berries with the sweetness of fresh satsumas for a more universally appealing flavor that will enhance the savoriness of the turkey. (When I really want to wow them, I add a half shot of Maker’s Mark bourbon to the pot.)
Gabbie’s Cranberry and Satsuma Sauce
Prep time: Less than five minutes
Cook time: Ten to fifteen minutes
- 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
- 1 c. light brown sugar
- 1 small satsuma
- 1 c. water
- Gather all the equipment you’ll need to prepare and store the sauce (one pot, a cooking spoon, a kitchen knife, a measuring cup, and mason jars).
- Over high heat, boil one cup of water. At the same time, zest one small satsuma. Add the zest to the boiling water.
- Once the water has begun to boil, add one cup of light brown sugar and stir until fully dissolved. This creates a simple syrup.
- Carefully add twelve ounces of fresh, rinsed cranberries to your pot of simple syrup.
- Squeeze the satsuma over a small dish or into your measuring cup and separate any seeds that may fall out. Add the juice and any pulp from the satsuma to the pot. *Use caution from here on as the cranberries will start to burst and pop as they cook. It would be a good idea to use a grease screen if you have one available.
- Cook for ten to fifteen minutes while continuously stirring to avoid burning. You can reduce the temperature of the pot, but stay above a medium heat. Your sauce is finished when all berries are popped.
- Spoon into a decorative dish and allow to cool before serving or spoon while hot into glass mason jars for short term storage (if unopened, sauce can last at least three months in the jar, making it the perfect addition to your Christmas and New Year’s dinners).