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To me, no Christmas table is complete without cranberry sauce. Sharp, sour, bitter and a touch of sweet, it’s perfect with just about any meat and all manner of cheese. Homemade is immeasurably better than anything out of a jar. And, as it takes only 10 minutes and is best made ahead – there’s really no excuse for not making it yourself!
Ginger and Cranberries
Everyone has his or her own little additions to their cranberry sauce. Some add port, some add sherry, oranges, and all sorts of spices.
Being a huge fan of ginger, I always have some ginger wine around, at this time of the year. Mixed with brandy, it gives you hot toddy, and it really does work to clear your sinuses!
I love cooking with what I love drinking, so the ginger wine in the cranberry sauce was just one of those combinations waiting to happen.
If you don’t do alcohol, you can skip the ginger wine, and just add half a teaspoon of ground ginger, or better still, some large slices of ginger that you can pick out later. Nothing like fresh ginger over dried!
I also like my cranberry sauce a little on the sweet side, so you taste it with just 4 tablespoons of sugar and decide if you would like to add more.
Smooth Cranberry sauce or full of whole fruit?
This is completely a matter of taste. I like whole cranberries in mine, but also like a little mush in there. So I like to cook it for the briefest of times, mash a few of the fruit, and voilà, perfection to my own taste!
And you know, cranberry sauce is so versatile. You can have with meat, with cheese, in sandwiches, with ice cream, the list goes on! I urge you to make your own, not only is it so much better, you can tailor it to suit your tastes!
Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce
Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and kept in the fridge in a sterilised container. To serve, just take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before and let it come to room temperature.
Cranberry sauce with Frozen Cranberries
You can absolutely use frozen cranberries to make cranberry sauce. In fact, for many, this is probably the only option they have, depending on where they live and the season.
Frozen cranberries can be cooked straight from frozen but cooking time will have to be increased to about 7 – 10 minutes. Too easy, right?
Now, shall we get our aprons on?
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Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger Wine
- 300 g cranberries
- 4-6 Tbsp white sugar to taste
- 2 Tbsp ginger wine OR ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 clove
- a tiny piece of cinnamon stick
- Place everything in a saucepan, bring to a boil on medium heat, then lower heat right down and simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes at the most. 5 minutes will give you a sauce with largely whole cranberries, 10 will give you a slightly mushier result. I like a mixture of both, so stop at about 7. You could also mash the cranberries in the shorter time period with a fork or potato masher.
- Transfer to a sterilised jar, cool to room temperature, then keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.