Quick N Easy Chunky Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is another element of Thanksgiving Dinner that deserves the personal touch of being homemade.  For years I have followed my mother’s recipe for a cranberry jelly, which is good, but is difficult to get just right and if undercooked, never really gels and goes to the table as a cranberry syrup that tends to be ignored.

This year, I decided to go off-recipe and create my own.  A couple of elements that I decided were crucial: it should be easy to execute, capture the tartness of the cranberries, and have some body to it.  If I hit those points, I reasoned, it would be a garnish that would make its way onto everyone’s plate.

The bowl was empty at the end of the first meal of leftovers.

Quick N Easy Chunky Cranberry Sauce

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 4 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 shot whiskey
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • grated zest of 2 tangerines (or of 1 orange)
  1. In a large saucepan, fry the minced ginger in the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the ginger starts to take on a bit of a golden brown hue.
  2. Add 4 1/2 cups cranberries into the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have popped (several minutes).
  3. Add the shot of whiskey and light it on fire with a burning wooden skewer. Let it flame off. This will caramelize the sugars in a way that simply boiling it will not accomplish.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar and the citrus zest. Once these have been stirred in, simmer without stirring for about 7 minutes or until the sauce has taken on a very thick and bubbly appearance, sort of like lava looks in a low-budget film.
  5. Remove to a heat-safe glass bowl. Let cool briefly at room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating overnight.

I’ll admit that some of Angstrom’s culinary proclivities are not ordinary for a two-and-a-half-year-old, but the little man was responsible, I think, for polishing off about a third of this sauce. He was such a fan of it that I actually didn’t get to eat quite as much of it as I would have liked to, so I am going to have to make another batch soon… maybe for Christmas; this recipe would also go quite nicely with ham.

4 Responses to “Quick N Easy Chunky Cranberry Sauce”

  1. jo Says:

    I made this also - but used powdered ginger because i didn’t have any fresh. It was my first attempt at home-made cranberry jelly & I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

  2. jwsharrard Says:

    I can’t remember what I had told you for powdered substitution: 1/4 or 1/2 tsp?

  3. Jesse Says:

    1/2 tsp dried ginger to substitute for fresh.
    Light brown sugar works better than dark brown
    1 1/2 recipe too much perhaps to do without stirring: scorching occurred.
    occasional stirring with wooden utensil appropriate but stirring with metallic utensil should be avoided

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