Monday, November 21, 2011

Cinnamon-Clementine Cranberry Sauce

The folks at Whole Foods are just SO GOOD at marketing to me.

As I gear up for Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve had cranberries on the brain. 

And, voila, just inside the entrance to the Annapolis Whole Foods, I found a huge tub of fresh cranberries floating in water, ready for me to scoop out and “harvest” from the bog. 

Such fun. 

As if I needed further convincing, the cranberries on offer were from Pemberton, New Jersey.  That’s within a half day’s drive from Annapolis (and therefore pretty local), and also about a ten minute’s drive from where I used to live in New Jersey.

I found a lovely recipe from The Gracious Pantry for Clean Eating Cranberry Sauce, and that was my plan:

About 3.5 cups of fresh cranberries
½ cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of one large orange
Cup of water

Throw everything in a pot and let it cook for 30 minutes.


Except I didn’t have an orange; I only had clementines.  And my grater was in the dishwasher, so I couldn’t make zest.

Instead, I peeled a large clementine and threw the segments in the pot with everything else just to see what would happen.

It turned out great!

It made a cranberry sauce that had the perfect consistency, even if it was a little tart. 

Make that VERY tart. 


I loved it, but I think I’ll serve it at Thanksgiving with a small note of warning.  This is not cranberry sauce for the faint of heart.    

Having successfully added my Clementine to my cranberry sauce, I was feeling like a very accomplished, enterprising cook. 

Until I saw this recipe on the Whole Foods blog this morning. 

Apparently, I am not the first person to come up with cinnamon-clementine cranberry sauce.  However, my version avoids 3/4 cup of refined sugar, which would, admittedly, probably take away from the extreme tarness if I added it. 

But where's the fun in that?

UPDATE: I remembered at the last minute that I was supposed to bring a side dish for a pot-luck Thanksgiving lunch at the office.  I grabbed my cranberry sauce out of the fridge and ran.  Given the tartness, I was a little concerned.  But I said nothing and watched in amazement as my co-workers piled it high on their turkey, spread it on their bread, and even ate it by itself with a spoon.  There is no greater compliment than when someone looks up from his food approvingly and says, "Who brought the cranberry sauce?!"  As it turns out, the tartness is just perfect when paired with the other sweet and savory dishes served at Thanksgiving!

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