Sunday, November 24, 2013

BBC Good Food: Cranberry Sauce with Port and Star Anise

Do you remember eating cranberry sauce from a can for Thanksgiving?  How you would open the can and then desperately try to get that gelatinous blob to come out of the can in one piece without having to tear it to pieces?  And how it would sit there in the bowl, gently quivering?  Yeah, that is one of the essential experiences of childhood.  And now that I actually think back on it, it's very 50's and very yuck.  But you can't go without cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, so that means making something to replace it.

Even though I grew up with cranberry jelly, I liked the idea of actually having cranberries in my sauce.  You know, the stuff the sauce is actually made from?  I thought it would give it a nice texture and take away the scary blob-like molding.  So I searched my go-to cookbook (the internet), and I found a recipe that turns out a cranberry sauce that tastes a bit like the can, though richer and fresher, with none of the industrial gelatin.

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Star Anise
Adapted from BBC Good Food

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
Grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 2 oranges
2 tablespoons red currant jelly
½ cup tawny port
2 whole star anise
½ cup sugar

Tip the cranberries into a saucepan, grate in the orange zest, then squeeze in the orange juice.  Add the red currant jelly, port, and star anise, and slowly bring to a simmer.

Cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the cranberries have burst and the sauce thickens and looks glossy.  Stir in the sugar and taste.  Cool and fish out of the star anise.  The sauce will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container for 1 week or for 2 months in the freezer.

Makes 10 servings

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