Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Berry Good Sauce for the Holidays

Cranberries on a slow simmer.
Cranberries as most folks know them.
This sauce makes a nice holiday gift too
 As Thanksgiving approaches I am trying to take the proactive approach & make as many things ahead as I can so I am not in a rush on the day of our big feast. No holiday meal would be complete without homemade Cranberry Sauce. I've had an infatuation with cranberries since I was a kid.  We lived in Alaska for several years & we used to enjoy picking wild berries as a family. Alaska has endless varieties of berries & actually more than one variety of cranberry.  My mother used to make jams, jellies, syrups & baked goods with the fruit.  The wild cranberry is much smaller than the variety we often see in the store which are commercially grown for sauces & juice. Whichever you are most familiar with this sauce is both simple & perfect for holiday entertainment. 

Lemony Cranberry Sauce
1 (12- ounce) bag cranberries, fresh
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Lemon juiced & seeds removed then dice pulp
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup of Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur*
1/8 teaspoon, fresh grated nutmeg
1 whole cinnamon stick**

Rinse cranberries, place in large saucepan along with water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon pulp, lemon zest. Bring berry mixture to a low boil, once the berries start to burst then reduce heat to slow simmer.  Add Lemon Liqueur, nutmeg & whole cinnamon stick.  Simmer about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Once the mixture has a syrup like texture & all the berries are soft then remove from heat & cool to room temperature.  I like to make this 1 week before holiday meal.  It keeps for 2 to 3 weeks & tastes better a few days after it sits chilled.  Leftover sauce freezes well. *Paula's Texas Lemon Liqueur also has an orange liqueur which is good for this recipe.  **The cinnamon stick can be left in till served as it imparts a slight spicy flavor.