Nov 29, 2010

Cranberry Deliciousness

Cranberries are a staple during the holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving.  These are two recipes that you are sure to love. Caitlin made her favorite Cranberry Sauce recipe. Monica made Cranberry Muffins from a cranberry bread recipe.  So if you have cranberries leftover or are looking for something sweetly tart the Cranberry Sauce is quick and delicious; and although the Cranberry Muffins are bit more labor intensive (but still easy enough), they are a great compliment to the traditional holiday fare.  Let the holidays begin!

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce
Caitlin:  This is the best cranberry sauce I’ve ever had – it’s from Williams Sonoma’s website, and I’ve used it every year for the past few holidays. The orange juice and boiled rind combined with the cloves and cinnamon are fantastic and add a sweetness that really compliment the tart cranberries. One taste and you’ll be adding it to your repertoire every year. I made this for Thanksgiving but recently topped the leftovers on some roasted chicken breasts I made with garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Simple and delicious – and yet another way to use those leftover cranberries.

Ingredient List
1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith McIntosh
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Squeeze the juice from the orange and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind and cut the rind into small dice. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into ½ inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving.

I've always put an extra cinnamon stick in for extra flavor - let it cook with the fruit then take it out before serving.

Drink of Choice
Because you're more than likely going to be eating this with either turkey or chicken, I suggest a Sauvignon Blanc.

A Recipe to Remember?
Yes; this is my favorite cranberry sauce recipe and one that I'll be making for years to come.    

   Cranberry Muffins
Monica:  My mom always makes these delicious loaves of cranberry bread for Thanksgiving.  They are buttery and crumbly.  I decided to change it up a bit and serve them as muffins.  They can be served with butter or clotted cream (if you dare), because they almost have a scone-like texture.  One bite, and you will be hooked.  This recipe has existed for more than 60 years and continues to be passed down generation to generation, because it is so good.  Enjoy!

Ingredient List
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup orange juice (no pulp)
½ cup fresh cranberries, sliced in half
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour 1 loaf pan.

In a separate bowl sift flour; add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-large bowl cream butter with sugar; add egg (beat well), add sour cream, orange juice and cranberries.  Add flour mixture to the bowl and stir until just combined. 
Add batter to loaf pan or distribute into muffin cups (should make about 24 muffins).  Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Let cool, slice and enjoy!

If you make these into muffins, you can add some chunks of white chocolate or white chocolate chips and a bit of orange zest as well.  This will make the muffins even more special; and they would be great for Christmas breakfast as well.

Drink of Choice
If eating these on their own – I suggest hot tea, my suggestion would be a nice Green Tea.

A Recipe to Remember?
I look forward to this bread each holiday season. 

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