Monday, November 21, 2011
Brandy and Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is one of those Turkey day traditions. You can't have the Turkey or Tofurkey without it. I normally have neither of the above and I still love the cranberry sauce. Like most people I grew up with the typical canned version that plops into the dish with a sucking sound as you attempt to remove it from it's tin can. Though I still enjoy it on occasion, in the last few years, I have learned to make my own. And let me tell you, the possibilities are endless. In my version I have added a little brandy and some vanilla bean. The smell was so delicious as I was simmering it that I had to restrain myself from just grabbing a big spoon and devouring the molten cranberry mixture.
Makes: About 2 1/4 cups
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes
1 pound bag fresh cranberries - thawed if they were frozen
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup water
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange - about 1/2 cup
1/2 of a vanilla bean - split and seeded
a pinch of allspice
In a medium sauce pan add water, sugar brandy, orange juice and zest. Bring to a light boil. In the mean time - Open the bag of cranberries, rinse and remove any shriveled or rotten ones and any stems you may find.
For the vanilla pod cut in half and set the other half aside for a later use. To get out the seeds, split the pod in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a knife blade or spoon.
Once the liquid mixture has come to a boil gently add in cranberries, vanilla seeds and pod and allspice. Stir well, reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Cover half way with a lid and simmer until berries have burst and mixture has slightly thickened, about 10 - 12 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool for a half an hour, remove vanilla pod and refrigerate until chilled - about 1 hour. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.