Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Cooking: The Cranberry Sauce Has Real Cranberries!

Christmas time means you get to eat everything! And before you can eat everything you get to cook it all! My favourite things.

This cranberry sauce is deep and spiced and orangey and sharp and beautifully red. It's adapted from Delia Smith, but I am a fiddler and a throw-everything-in-er, so I did what I do.

You will need:

300g cranberries
Juice and zest of 1 orange
3-4 tablespoons white wine
75g soft brown sugar (you could also use caster, but I always think soft gives a richer flavour)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (I used the crushed frozen cubes) or 1/2 tsp ground
1 cinnamon stick, broken in halves
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 whole star anise
3 whole cloves

This recipe is excellently easy. Get all the ingredients and put them in a large saucepan.

Simmer for about ten minutes, stirring regularly, until all the berries have burst and the whole thing has turned gloriously sticky and jammy and glowing ruby red. Remember that it will thicken up more as it cools.

 Taste, very carefully because it is going to be very very hot and you will burn your mouth, trust me I speak from experience. Adjust the sweetness; if it is too sharp, add more sugar, if (though it's unlikely) it's too sweet, add lemon or orange juice. Once it tastes right, remove from the heat and allow to cool. This will take a long time. Pick out the cinnamon, bay leaves and star anise, and the cloves if you can find them. Pop it into an airtight tupperware box; it will last for several days in the fridge.

 Serve in a nice glass bowl and garnish with a few long pieces of orange zest alongside your Christmas turkey. Or, if you can't wait until Christmas day, I hear it makes a pretty great addition to a bacon and brie sandwich. Just saying.

+400 cool points if you got the reference in the title.

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