One of the things I look most forward to all year is Thanksgiving, and Christmas, where I legitimately have a reason to make cranberry sauce. As a kid, I wanted nothing to do with the weird gelatinous mold of pseudo-cranberry sauce we were served, when my family was invited to a home for Thanksgiving. That mess was not real. It was hard enough getting over the look, and texture of canned cranberry sauce, but the taste, was horrid.
So it’s taken me a long time to find a cranberry sauce I enjoy. Granted, this Ina Garten recipe isn’t just a sauce, it’s a fruit conserve that you can eat all on its own, it’s that good. Add it to any Thanksgiving feast, or Christmas dinner, and you’ve just created something magical. Luckily, it is easy and quick to make.
Ina Garten’s Cranberry Fruit Conserve
1 (12-ounce) bag of fresh cranberries, cleaned
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 orange, zest grated and juiced
1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
3/4 cup raisins (I omit this, and use dried cranberries instead)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I also omit this, because often I like to share this with friends, and they are allergic to nuts)
This part is so easy, you’ll want to kiss me, but please. restrain yourself. Simply get a medium saucepan and add the cranberries, a cup of water, and a cup of sugar. Allow this mixture to cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes, or when the cranberries start to pop, and crack. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy watching this happen in the saucepan. After the cranberries have popped, add the apple, zests, and juices and let the entire delicious sauce cook for 15 more minutes. Last, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the raisins (or dried cranberries) and nuts (or not). Let the sauce cool, and serve it chilled over your favorite stuffing, turkey, ham, rolls, or simply eat it with a spoon. It’s great over some vanilla bean ice cream too. Enjoy!