I love the flavor of cranberries and can not, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would turn them into the slimy, gelatinous substance often served with Thanksgiving dinner. The canned “cranberry sauce” is overly sweet, full of artificial ingredients and, well…just weird.
And the truth is, fresh cranberries are extremely quick and easy to prepare. They can be prepared in under 10 minutes, have considerably less sugar and other additives, and they look and taste far superior to the canned stuff.
Here’s a recipe that I adapted from Craig Claiborne’s recipe, published in the New York Times years ago.
I’ve found that it’s better to make it a day or so in advance, which gives the flavors time to marry. Just make sure not to add the pecans until just before serving (you want the pecans to stay nice and crunchy).
This one is such a hit that I’ve continued to serve it at every Thanksgiving dinner that I’ve hosted. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do and that you have an absolutely beautiful holiday!
Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges and Pecans
1 pound fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
1 can mandarin oranges
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
⅔ c. chopped pecans
Rinse cranberries. Strain the mandarin orange segments and reserve the liquid. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar and the liquid from the mandarin oranges. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer just until the cranberries have popped, then remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the Grand Marnier and the orange segments, then set aside to cool. Before serving, stir in the chopped pecans.
Yields approximately 4 cups.
Note: This can be made several days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve (remember not to add the pecans until just before serving).