As far as I am concerned, a Christmas dinner without cranberry sauce is just not complete. I can’t remember when I first had cranberry sauce, but I do know we didn’t have it when I was little. I don’t think I even had it the first few years that I cooked Christmas dinner myself. I think it must coincide with when fresh cranberries first appeared in the shops in the UK in the late 80’s. Now it’s as much a part of the Christmas spread as the pigs in blanket and the sausagemeat stuffing. The turkey along with all of the little extras, are what turn an otherwise basic roast, into something special – our Christmas dinner. Strangely enough, despite being a bakers daughter, bread sauce is one traditional accompaniment to turkey that we have never had.
I made some cranberry sauce to make my Christmas crostini earlier this week, so I thought I might as well share that recipe with you too. It’s really simple to make and now that fresh cranberries are readily available it beats the sauce you buy in jars. It keeps for about 1 week in the refrigerator and freezes well, so you can easily make a bit more for a later date. It also goes well with roast chicken or gammon. Just in case you might like a bit of extravagance, you could add a a few tablespoons of port to the pan with the orange juice.
- 275 g Cranberries
- 100 g light muscovado sugar
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- a little freshly grated nutmeg
- Place the cranberries in a saucepan and add the sugar.
- Add the orange juice zest and juice and stir, and add a little grated nutmeg. Heat gently, stirring until the juices begin to run and the sugar has dissolved.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries are very soft and start to break down.
- Pour into a serving bowl and allow to cool.
This sauce is quite thick, and can be made a little softer by adding 3 tbsp water along with the orange juice.
Freeze in an airtight container for up to 4 months