A trio of cranberry sauces for your Thanksgiving table

  • Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Satsumas starts on the stove, cooking the cranberries until they just begin to pop.

    Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Satsumas starts on the stove, cooking the cranberries until they just begin to pop.

Posted11/24/2015 6:00 AM

Cranberry sauce is one of the traditional dishes essential for any Thanksgiving menu. For me, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without at least one of the following recipes. The range of cranberry possibilities can be as simple as the back-of-the-package cranberry sauce to uncooked relish to sweet-and-spicy chutney. Here are three of my favorite recipes for you to try this holiday season. Make one or all three and see how a side condiment can spice up so many other dishes. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Satsumas


Makes about 6 Cups

I like to add Satsumas (the small orange citrus fruit) because it is seasonal and seedless. Otherwise, you can use clementines. Pomegranate juice and seeds add a depth of flavor. Plus, the orange and rich red colors look beautiful on the table.

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup sweetened pomegranate juice (try POM Wonderful)

One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

4 satsumas or clementines, peeled, sectioned and cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 teaspoon balsamic glaze or crème

1. Combine the sugar, pomegranate juice and cranberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries just begin to pop, stirring frequently; this should take about 4 minutes.

2. When the cranberries have cooked, remove the pan from the heat and cool. Add the satsumas or clementines, pomegranate seeds and balsamic glaze; mix to combine. Place in a container, cover and refrigerate until using. Taste for seasoning just before serving.

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Advance Preparation: Can be prepared up to five days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Taste before serving. You may need to add a bit more balsamic glaze.

Cranberry Almond Relish

Serves 4 to 6

A bit unusual from a standard cranberry sauce, this relish has lots of complementary flavors. Hot sugar syrup briefly cooks the cranberries so that the fruit is slightly undercooked and crunchy. Raspberries, toasted almonds and rum add a unique touch.

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds

One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 medium Pippin apple, peeled, cored and quartered

1 medium Bosc pear, peeled, cored and quartered

2 teaspoons minced orange zest

3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen raspberries

1/4 cup light rum

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Reserve.

2. Spoon the cranberries into a food processor and chop them coarsely by pulsing the machine a few times. Transfer the cranberries to a large mixing bowl.

3. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook the syrup until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear. Immediately pour the syrup over the cranberries and mix well.

4. Place the apple and pear in the food processor and coarsely chop. Transfer to the cranberry mixture. Add the orange zest, raspberries, rum and nutmeg and mix gently to combine. Taste for seasoning.

5. Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh mint. Add the almonds just before serving.

Advance Preparation: Can be prepared up to two days head through Step 4, covered and refrigerated. Add the almonds just before serving.

Cranberry Fruit Chutney

Makes about 4 cups

Fresh ginger, lemon zest, spices and port blend together in a savory-sweet mix that is equally good on turkey, chicken or duck.

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

1 Bosc pear, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces

1 Fuji apple, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces

1 onion, finely chopped

2 lemons, zested

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1 teaspoon dried mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup Tawny port wine

Dried crushed pepper flakes, to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Taste for seasoning. Cover and refrigerate.

Advance Preparation: This may be made up to one month ahead, covered in an airtight container and refrigerated.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Parties," and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)


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