Holiday Cranberry Sauce

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving calls for a proper feast. While the first sighting of a pumpkin inspires some to plan Halloween costumes or jump ahead to gift-giving lists, autumn has me thinking about turkey, stuffing, and every delicious morsel that makes the feast delicious. Now that Thanksgiving is a little over a week away, I finally can share the recipe for holiday cranberry sauce that will be on my table this year.

Homemade cranberry sauce is a holiday essential that is simple to prepare and adds vibrancy with its ruby tone and bright flavor. In this recipe, tart cranberries are made irresistible with the addition of brown sugar, Cointreau, and balsamic vinegar, which adds depth without overpowering the classic brightness that livens up all the savory dishes on the table.


1 package cranberries (12 oz.)
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6 peppercorns

Cranberry SauceBegin by tying the peppercorns in cheesecloth so they are easy to remove. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened but still remains liquid. Additional water will evaporate as it cools.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, discard the peppercorn bundle, and allow the sauce to cool. Stir occasionally so that the sauce does not form a skin. Refrigerate if storing.

While the cranberry sauce cooked, some of the berries will have burst and others will have remained mostly whole. The combination leads to a jammy texture and even flavor. Not only is this great for holiday plates, but when you make a Thanksgiving sandwich the next day (or later that night), the cranberry sauce makes a delicious condiment. Alternately, you can just eat it by the spoonful like I do.

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