because what is life without good food?

Michael’s Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Michael's Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

I remember those awful jellied cans of cranberry sauce would find their way to our Thanksgiving table sometimes in my childhood, and I remember loving the sweet tart taste of the cranberries, but the jellied stuff was just so ugly and weird. I think we all eventually decided we just don’t like cranberry sauce because we don’t usually have cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving anymore.

But this year will be different. I remembered this cranberry sauce that Michael, an old boyfriend of mine, made one year when I lived far from my family. We were having Thanksgiving dinner in his apartment with his roommate. Michael worked at a French restaurant and was a total foodie. I told him I didn’t like cranberry sauce, but he said you will like THIS cranberry sauce. And I loved it.

So this year, I am making Michael’s maple cranberry sauce. He didn’t give me his recipe, but I think this is pretty close. I think my family will like THIS cranberry sauce.

Actually I hope they don’t like it TOO much because I saw a gorgeous and super simple appetizer idea made with cranberry sauce that I want to try: Just take a block of (light) cream cheese, put it on a fancy dish, and pour cranberry sauce over it. Serve with crackers. I have decided I will stir in a few chopped jalapenos into the sauce before I pour it over the cream cheese to give it a little kick. I have big plans for this cranberry sauce.

Michael's Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Michael’s Maple Cranberry Sauce with Toasted Walnuts

Adapted from About.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounces) package fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red Zinfandel or other dry red wine (I used some of my dad’s California Trinity Red wine.)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger sugar (the reserved sugar from making candied ginger) or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Place cranberries, maple syrup, juice, wine, and ginger sugar in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to pop.
  3. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  4. Remove from heat and gently smash a bit to open the cranberries, but do not mash.
  5. Toast the walnuts by spreading them in a single layer on a baking sheet and baking for about 5 minutes at 300 F. or until they are just lightly browned and you can smell the scent of the walnuts.
  6. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Look at that gorgeous color! (And yes, in case you were wondering, that IS snow on the table. We had our first snow last night.)

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth Mondays.

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7 responses

  1. This looks wonderful, my kids would fight over it!

    November 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

  2. Maple, walnut, cranberry sauce!!!! What! This sounds amazing :) I would be honored if you would come share this at my Recipe of the Week #3 Thanksgiving Favorites post. I think the readers would LOVE this one. Feel free to also add any other favorites you have. As always, there will be a small gift card giveaway for the winner ;)

    http://familyfreshmeals.blogspot.com/2011/11/recipe-of-week-3-favorite-thanksgiving.html

    November 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm

  3. What a fun combination! And I love that it comes from an old boyfriend… I wonder if he’ll see this…

    November 20, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    • Ann

      I doubt he will see it, but I do think it would be funny if he did. Crunchy, it’s a great combination of flavors!

      November 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

  4. I’ve never been a huge fan of cranberry sauce but I think I would really love this recipe made with maple syrup and walnuts. Wow, what a combination!

    November 21, 2011 at 6:46 am

  5. Lovely combination of flavors! Your tip on the cream cheese reminded me of that appetizer and what a great way to use my leftover cranberry sauce!!

    November 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm

  6. love the second cranberry heated over cream cheese simple but yummer

    October 8, 2012 at 9:54 am

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