Christmas is coming fast and furious but there’s still time to make your Cranberry Sauce! I wanted to take cranberry sauce up a notch this year. I’d been lucky enough to find a great deal on organic pears at my local store and I thought Cranberry and Pears, they’re definitely a good combination, so why not? With the addition of a little spice from a cinnamon stick and a generous glug of Grand Marnier near the end of cooking, this recipe evolved. If you don’t want to add liqueur to your sauce, you could always substitute with fresh orange juice and some orange zest instead.
The mellow sweetness of the pears shines through which means I can use less sugar than usual, yet the sauce still has a nice twang from the sharp cranberries. Once you make your own cranberry sauce, you’ll never go back to the store bought gelatinous glob in jars plus it’s less expensive and dead easy to make. It can be prepared up to two weeks ahead and stored in a sterilized jam jar in the refrigerator, or I freeze mine in small mason jars for up to one year. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you need more, and remember it makes a thoughtful gift for a friend or neighbor.
MAKES 2 cups (1 pint, 16 fl oz)
1 x 12oz bag of fresh Cranberries (rinsed under water and drained)
1 Pear (any variety), Firm and ripe (I used D’Anjou)
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
2″ cinnamon stick
1/4 cup Cranberry Juice or Water
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier (or Cointreu, or Port), or fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon zest
1) Peel and chop the pear into 1/4 inch cubes. Place in a medium size saucepan along with cranberries, light brown sugar, cinnamon stick and cranberry juice or water.
2) Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook gently bubbling for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want most of the cranberries to burst to release their juices, color and the pectin, but try to leave a few whole (it looks better and is kind of nice to have a few whole ones in there.
3) Add 2 Tablespoons of Grand Marnier or you favorite liqueur of choice and continue to simmer for a further 5 minues.
4) Take off heat and leave for 5 minutes then carefully pour into sterilized mason jars. When cooled down, place tight fitting lids onto the jars and either refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze for up to one year.