Thursday, December 04, 2008
I enjoy the tangy bite of cranberries in baked goods, juice and sauces, but have never been too crazy about it in the traditional "sauce" form served with turkey around holiday time. So when it came time for Thanksgiving last week, I decided to forgo the canned variety and make a quick and easy cranberry sauce that wasn't too sweet or too solid in texture, but that had a slightly tart flavor and just enough body to not run all over the plate.
I started with a large pot, and added one pint of hierloom cranberries from Whole Foods along with 1/2 a pint of fresh red raspberries. I stirred the berries together with 3/4 of a cup of orange juice and 3 tablespoons of Brown Sugar Blend from Splenda.
Let the berries and juice come to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes my raspberries had completely broken down, but the cranberries still maintained their shape despite being able to hear their skins popping from inside the simmering pot. I used my potato masher and gently pressed the mixture until only abount half of the cranberries remained whole.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl with a tight fitting lid and let it chill out in the fridge for a few hours before serving. The consistency is a bit thicker than a sauce, but not quite to the point of jam or jelly, so I'm calling it a compote. You can check out this picture to get a better idea of the consistency.
This recipe is so easy to do, it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and requires very little skill. It can also be made a few days ahead of your holiday party. In fact, the flavors of raspberry and cranberry meld together the more it sits, so you might want to make sure to prepare this compote a few days ahead of when you plan to serve it so that it develops maximum flavor.