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 Cranberry Sauce with Toasted Walnuts
Adapted from About.com
- 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
- Place cranberries, maple syrup, juice, wine, and ginger sugar in a heavy saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to pop.
- Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
- Remove from heat and gently smash a bit to open the cranberries, but do not mash.
- 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.
- Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
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.