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Monday, December 23, 2013

Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine

Smells of Christmas Holidays!
We ran across a recipe adapted from by David Lebovitz who's a terrific food blogger currently living in Paris. The extra sauce was great for a couple of weeks following Thanksgiving on sandwiches and as a sweet/tangy side. We even loved putting a spoonful of it in to our turkey'n'dumplings soup. It had just the right amount of tartness to it and the texture of the figs really set it off for us. (Texture is one of those cooking elements that is too often overlooked in dishes.) This recipe uses candied orange peel and the citrus brings it all together without overpowering the dish.

The original recipe calls for a fruity red wine like Merlot or Syrah, but we've successfully made this with some of the Central Florida "fruit wines". The first time, we used pomegranate wine and it was pretty stellar. In this particular iteration, we used white wine to see how it turned out. It is as delicious as expected, but the sauce doesn't have quite as intense of a red color.

As he mentions in his post, instead of the figs you could really use any dried fruit you want (apricots, prunes, pineapple, etc.). We really really loved it with the dried figs though, it gave it the delicious texture that made Fig Newtons such popular cookies.

  • 1 cup (250ml) fruity red wine or white wine
  • 1 cup (170g) diced dried figs (cut off the very tip where the hard stems are),
  • 12 ounces (340g) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 naval (or other thin skinned) orange
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar - for making the candied orange peel
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar - for the cranberry sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered allspice or cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider or red wine vinegar

To make the candied orange peel: (Note this step can be omitted if you purchased 1/2 cup of candied or peel)
  1. Click the orange into four pieces and peel off pith (white part) and peel. Cut off the tips to get rid of the stems.
    Cutting the orange
  2. Place in a medium sauce pan and fill the pan half way with cold water.
  3. Over medium heat, bring to a boil for 1 minute.
    Bringing them up for their first boil.
  4. Drain the pan and refill with cold water. Repeat step 3 two more times.
  5. Drain the orange pieces. Slice into thin strips, then dice.
    Slice, then dice
  6. Place the diced orange peels back into the same pot and sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water over them.
    Bringing to a boil
  7. Bring to a low boil and reduce to a bare simmer until the white part of the orange peel becomes translucent and the liquid syrup is almost gone. If necessary, add an additional small amount of water to continue the cooking until the white part becomes translucent. Be careful not to burn the orange peel because it will become hard.
    Almost finished boiling about 45 minutes later
  8. Move the candied orange pieces to a piece of parchment paper or something non-stick and set aside.
  9. In the same pot, add the diced figs and cover with the wine.
  10. Heat the wine until hot, then remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  11. Scoop the figs out and set aside but leave the wine in the pot. Put all other ingredients back into the pot except the figs.
  12. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. The berries should all pop open.
    Stir it all in, except the figs
  13. Gently stir the figs back into the sauce and add the apple cider or red wine vinegar (optional).
  14. Cool and serve. (It will last in the refrigerator tightly covered for 3 or 4 weeks.
    Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
    When it begins to look like this is it is nearly complete.
  15. Add figs (or dried) fruit and let sit 10 minutes.
  16. This can be served warm, chilled or at room temperature.
Bon Apetit!

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