Cranberry Sauce, Jelly, Or Relish
The Thanksgiving accompaniment is often overwhelmingly sweet, but the sugar is what helps the cranberries gel and hold together. You can decrease the sugar; just know that the end result will be runnier.
Makes: About 1 quart
Time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill
4 cups fresh cranberries (about 1 pound), picked over and rinsed, or frozen cranberries
1 1 ⁄ 2 cups sugar
1. Combine the cranberries and sugar with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are broken, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Transfer to a bowl. Cool, then chill until you’re ready to serve. The sauce can be refrigerated, covered, for up to a week.
Firm Cranberry Sauce Or Cranberry Jelly
Increase the sugar to 2 cups. For sauce, proceed as directed. For jelly, cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Pass through a strainer into a mold, bowl, or jelly jars. Cool, then chill until firm. Spoon out, or warm the container in hot water to turn the jelly out on a plate and then slice to serve.
This isn’t cooked, but it’s handy to have all the cranberry options in one place: Reduce the sugar to 1 ⁄ 2 cup; zest 1 orange, then remove the pith (including the white parts between segments) and roughly chop or supreme the flesh. Combine the sugar, cranberries, orange pieces and zest in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised 20th Anniversary Edition (Photo: Aya Brackett)