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Thanksgiving Thursday – Cranberry Sauce

As I said in last the last Thanksgiving Thursday post, turkey, dressing/stuffing and cranberry sauce are the cornerstone of any Thanksgiving feast.  The side dishes often vary, but these three things are almost always on the table in one form or another.

Nor is anything as likely to divide your diners the way cranberry sauce can.  Some people just can’t stand it and those who love it are often at odds over what kind they love.  My mother, for instance, hated cranberry sauce with whole cranberries – I’m not sure why, but I suspect it was because she’d never had any that was homemade.  So my entire childhood we ate the smooth, jellied stuff that came out in the exact shape of the can.  I never really thought much about it – cranberry sauce was just something you slapped on your plate next to the turkey – and the cylinder o’ sauce continued to be a tradition once I was an adult and had children of my own.  In fact, it’s still the only kind of cranberry sauce Darling Daughter cares for.

Then I met Beloved and that all changed.  He prefers it with real cranberries, so I made it my mission to find a recipe that I liked as well, since I had inherited some of my mother’s prejudices against lumpy sauce.  I found a couple of likely candidates, decided which one we liked best, and have been perfecting it ever since.  The following is the latest incarnation; it lends itself really well to modification and is heaven on a turkey sandwich at 10:00 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

AND it’s super, super easy to make – what more could you ask for?

Triple Cranberry sauce

makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed

1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on how tart you like it

1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins will do)

3 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons minced orange peel

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons minced candied ginger

Combine the cranberry juice concentrate and sugar in a heavy, medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Add the fresh and dried cranberries, reduce the heat to medium/medium high and cook until the dried berries begin to soften and the fresh berries begin to pop, stirring often, about 7 – 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the marmalade, orange juice, peel and allspice.  Let it cool until it is just lukewarm and stir in the candied ginger.  Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.  Can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Keep refrigerated.

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