I love real cranberries during the holidays but can't stand the canned stuff. My Mom makes a terrific homemade cranberry relish similar to this one that I love having whenever we visit them for the holidays. But, I started doing my own thing on a quest for my ultimate cranberry sauce a while ago and have perfected my recipe in recent years. This is much thicker than many sauces, but not like the canned "jellies" you see everywhere. Here is my "Cranberry-Tangerine Sauce", a perfect accompaniment to turkeys, stuffings and potatoes.
The sauce is both sweet and slightly tart, a little tangy and a little warm and spiced like a good spiced red wine. It's full of flavor and depth and the consistency when fully set is like a loose jam. Here in my photo it still hadn't set so it's a bit smoother and runnier in the picture. This compote gets so much better as it sits in the fridge so make it the day before you want to eat it or first thing in the morning, the day of your meal! Once refrigerated a while the tastes intensify and the texture becomes spreadable, perfect for slathering on poultry.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating!
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1/2 c. fresh tangerine juice, squeezed
1/2 stick whole cinnamon
1 whole star anise
zest from 1 tangerine (about 2 tsp.)
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground allspice
1. In a medium saucepan combine the cranberries, sugar, water, tangerine juice, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Turn heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil.
2. Once the sauce is starting to boil and becoming thicker, about 4-5 minutes, you will hear the cranberries skins begin to pop. At this point add the zest, the nutmeg and allspice and stir with a wooden spoon.
3. Let the sauce gently boil until the cranberries begin to break apart and the sauce becomes thick, like a runny jam, about 2-3 minutes more. Stir frequently but not continuously. Break apart some of the cranberries with a wooden spoon.
4. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour into a heat and refrigerator-proof bowl. Let the sauce cool until it stops steaming. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving. Remove and let come to room temperature, serving in a bowl on the side. Use as garnish, spread or any way you like it. Enjoy!