Fresh Organic Cranberry Sauce & Spread My favorite Thanksgiving cranberry sauce doubles as a Christmas appetizer.
By Jan Walsh
I grew up watching the two generations, before me, open cans of jellied cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. It would slide out of the can whole, and presented circular can impressions on the slimy, giggly, log, which would then be cut into slices. Hmm, guess the slicing is what those circles were really for… But I never understood why such an otherwise beautiful Thanksgiving meal had to be accompanied by canned cranberry. Even if you liked it, which I did not (at least the one bite of it I ever tasted), it was not worthy of the turkey and dressing it was there to enhance.
Given I did not have to eat it, this canned goo was not my problem to solve, until it was my generation’s turn to host Thanksgiving and roast my first turkey. I played around with fresh cranberry sauce recipes from holiday magazines, tweaking them until I synthesized one that passed my taste test. At Thanksgiving that year, no one was expecting cranberry sauce of any kind. And when several passed on it, I realized I had passed my own prejudice to them. But at my insistence they tasted it and did love it.
Yet how much cranberry could a family eat at one sitting, and even with left overs of a recipe that made 24 ounces? Determined not to let a bite of it go to waste, I poured it over (organic pasture raised) cream cheese and declared this spread, served with Italian crackers, a holiday appetizer. I served it for the following football weekend. And afterwards, the family requested I make a double recipe of this spread for Christmas. Through the years since, it has become a Christmas tradition. I get texts and calls, “You are making that cranberry stuff?” I even make extra for them to take home.
Fresh Organic Cranberry Spread Recipe
1 Cup bottled water
½ Cup Wholesome Organic Dark Brown Sugar (is best brown sugar ever)
½ Cup organic granulated sugar
1 12-ounce bag fresh, organic cranberries
½ Cup Papa Vince Sicilian Orange Marmalade
1 Tablespoon organic Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
Wash cranberries. Mix granulated sugar and brown sugar together in bowl. Pour water into deep sauce pan over medium high heat. Tip: the depth of pan prevents the berries from popping juice out of the pan and onto the stove. Add sugar mixture to pan and bring to a boil. Add cranberries to pan. Return mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer stirring often until cranberries begin to pop and mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in marmalade, mustard and horseradish. Let sauce cool. Gently pour or spoon into airtight glass container. Cover, and chill in refrigerator. May be stored for one week in refrigerator. Yields 24 ounces.