Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ginger-Cardamom Cranberry Sauce

I've made homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving pretty much every year since my fourth grade class brought back the recipe from a trip to the cranberry bogs on "Cranberry Day," the harvest festival holiday of the local Wampanoag tribe on Martha's Vineyard, where I grew up. The recipe itself is simple and inauthentic, but delicious.

I used to make a smooth sauce that would (sometimes!) set into a jelly. As I've grown older, I've come to appreciate the texture of the whole berry sauce, and have added some of my favorite spices to give it more pizzazz. The resulting sauce is sweet and tangy with a hint of spice, perfect not only alongside turkey, but also with many cheeses (brie and goat cheese are my personal favorites).

All you have to do is boil the cranberries for a few minutes in hot water, until they start popping and splitting open. Drain the berries, add the sugar and spices, and boil until thickened to your desired consistency.
Fresh grated ginger

Ginger-Cardamom Cranberry Sauce

3 Cups of cranberries
Scant 1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 inch long piece of ginger, peeled and grated (If your ginger is very thick, use 1/2 inch long piece)
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Wash and drain cranberries. Add to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, or until cranberries pop and split open. 
2. Drain the berries. Add back to the pan with sugar and spices.
3. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, then raise heat and bring to a boil.
4. Cook, stirring frequently, until the berries have thickened into a jammy texture (should coat the back of a spoon).
5. Let chill for 2 hours before serving.

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