Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Candied Ginger

 I'm kind of a cranberry sauce freak. I really like it. I like a healthy serving on my Thanksgiving Day plate and it's an important component of the day-after lunch sandwich.
Cape Blanco Cranberries
I'm such a cranberry nerd, I found a farm in Oregon that sells late-harvest, vine-ripened cranberries. They pick into December and the color of their cranberries is much darker - some are a deep burgundy and almost purple. The taste is more intense, riper-tasting and awesome!  The smallest order you can make is 5lbs so it helps to have a few other uses (as I do) other than as a Thanksgiving condiment.
Ginger candied in brown sugar
Are you ready to get roasted?

I have been making this version (with some variations) for years. I learned the roasting method from a recipe in Saveur, but the combination of other ingredients is my own. This is a very intense and concentrated sauce. The recipe calls for 1 pound of cranberries but if you buy them in the bag, the standard is 12 ounces per bag. I've included the amounts for 12 ounces of cranberries in brackets [...] at the end of each ingredient line.

Makes: 2 cups (1 lb of cranberries) or 1 1/2 cups (12 oz of cranberries)

  • 1 orange
  • 1 lb fresh or thawed frozen cranberries  [12 oz]
  • 1 (6.8 ounces) cup sugar [3/4 cup or 5.1 ounces]
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil [1 1/2 tablespoons]
  • 1 teaspoon salt [3/4 teaspoon]
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper [3/4 teaspoon]
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger (if the ginger is in chunks or
    cubes, give it a chop - about 1/8" to 3/16") [1 1/2 tablespoons]
Pre-heat the oven to 450F, rack in the lower third
Prepare a baking sheet, lining with parchment paper or foil.
With a sharp peeler, remove the peel of the orange in long strips taking as little pith as possible. Slice these into very thin strips, about 1 1/2" long. Juice the orange, reserving 2 tablespoons.

Combine the orange peel strips, the thawed or fresh cranberries, sugar, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper and toss to combine. Transfer this mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the cranberries begin to burst and release their juice - about 15 minutes.

Transfer the roasted cranberry mixture to a bowl. Stir in the reserved orange juice and the chopped candied ginger. Allow the sauce to stand for at least one hour before serving. This may be made two days ahead and refrigerated. Press some plastic wrap on the top of the sauce and store in an airtight container.

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