Home Ec: Thanksgiving Basics--Cranberry Sauce Two Ways

Cranberry sauce, with its color and its acid, is one of the most important dishes on the Thanksgiving table. It's also pretty much the simplest dish to make.

Here are two versions--one basic, and one a bit more complicated. Both are perfect on that leftover turkey sandwich.

photo source: cranberry squircle, by Muffet

Super Simple Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Serves 12

12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
1 cup water
6 tablespoons sugar
3 bay leaves
1 orange, juiced and zested finely
Pinch of salt

In a medium, non-reactive saucepan, combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir and taste as it cooks, adding water, sugar and salt as needed. 

Once it cools, it will set up a lot.  Add water or fresh orange juice, if desired, to thin it out.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Cranberry Sauce with Quince and Bay 
Serves 12

5 quinces (2 to 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
3 bay leaves
8 ounces cranberries
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium–low. Cover and simmer until quinces are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Pour mixture into large strainer set over bowl; reserve juices.

Return quince mixture to same saucepan; mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Add cranberries; cook over medium heat until most of berries burst, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste. Transfer sauce to bowl. Before serving, stir enough reserved juices into sauce to thin to desired consistency. Serve sauce cold or at room temperature.

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