Sunday, November 18, 2012

Super Easy Cranberry Sauce

Just 3 simple ingredients for a fantastic relish.
I have never cared for cranberry sauce from a can. I'm not sure what caused me to try making it myself. It happened during the first year of our marriage, when I was still searching desperately for gluten free food to feed myself and everyone at our dinner table. We had a guest over who needed to avoid dairy, which made a lot of my regular recipes unacceptable. I scrambled a little, found a menu which I still use for guests who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, and happened to include this sauce I had cut out of a magazine. My family is always really excited to hear this meal is on the menu (generally for a Lord's Day dinner): roasted turkey or chicken, cranberry sauce, bread for our prayers, oven fries (white or sweet potatoes), salad, dessert. The most important element, the item I cannot forget or change if I am serving a roasted turkey or chicken, the item always requested even if gravy is also on the table, is the cranberry sauce.
The sugar is already trying to dissolve before I've even
stirred it in.
I made the relish this time for Thanksgiving. I often halve the recipe and all leftovers freeze very nicely. We spoon it right on top of our meat, instead of gravy, so each portion is fairly small. I would put the number of servings as 20-30 for a full recipe, although the original recipe lists 10-12. I've never included the orange peel from the original recipe and I have reduced the sugar slightly, although reducing it too much will make the sauce too sour from the cranberries.
Cranberries are darker and trying to pop. Ready to mash!
Lazy Day Cranberry Relish
Serves: 20-30 as a condiment over poultry
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
Put all ingredients in a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker. Mix together to dissolve sugar. Cook on low for about 6 hours, or until cranberries are soft and plump. Mash the mixture until all cranberries are popped. Chill in fridge (sauce will thicken and gel). Serve cold. May easily halve recipe or freeze relish, to make in advance or to enjoy for several meals if even half a recipe is too much for your family.
After mashing all the berries, it will still be so juicy you think
something's wrong. Don't worry: it will gel as it cools down.
If you don't have a crockpot that's a suitable size, you can also cook the sauce on low heat on the stovetop, for probably 1-3 hours.

If you set the hot relish in a mold and let it chill, it will take
on the shape of the dish. I like it a little more "lively" looking,
so I prefer to chill it first and then scoop into my serving dish.
Linked with Works for Me Wednesday

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