And now on to the cranberry sauce. I love cranberry sauce, but it can be vexing. It's so simple but when it's not right, it's not right. And it's not thanksgiving without it. I've had to remake it two years in a row.
Last year I made a mountain of cranberry sauce, only to discover it was too sweet. I had made it from the Best New Recipe cookbook and I swear there must have been a typo because it was like candy. So I remade it decreasing the sugar and it was perfect. But of course I never wrote it down.
This year I had read something about putting in mulling spices and that sounded cool, so I followed the directions on the bag (1cup sugar, 1 cup water) but then added 5 spice and orange zest. Big mistake. It tasted like bland chutney. Too spicy, not tart enough. And I had forgotten how much sugar I put in last year, it was too sweet again.
So I started again....this time 3/4 c. sugar, 1 c water, orange zest, a sprinkle of salt and then after it had simmered the requisite amount of time, a tbs. of cointreau. Fabulous stuff. Cranberry sauce of the gods.
Hopefully the last year I have to make it twice.
(Note: the recipe below uses two bags so doubles the quantities above)
Perfect Cranberry Sauce (note: this makes enough for 15 people)
2 bags cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
zest from one orange, minced
pinch of salt
2 T. cointreau or other orange liquer
Wash cranberries and get out all the mushy ones (if you run your hands through them, you'll feel them). Put water, sugar and zest in a pan on high and bring to a boil. Add cranberries, bring to a boil again and then turn down to low, simmer x 10 minutes. Take off heat, add pinch of salt and 2 T. cointreau. Chill