Sweet and Savory Cranberry Sauce

This is a love note to my friend Crysta

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Last year I canceled all our usual Thanksgiving plans when I heard that my friend Crysta and her family were going to be in my general vicinity, and I jumped on the chance to claim her undivided attention and cook an enormous meal all by myself.

Every year I get the itch to add something new to the tradition, and last year I just *had* to make my own cranberry sauce. I don’t know why homemade cranberry sauce has this reputation as the pinnacle of do it yourself extravagance because it couldn’t be any easier. It’s literally not much more than boiled cranberries.

I thought that red onions would be a great paring for the cranberries, so I started throwing things together, and I got a little, shall we say, carried away. Poor Crysta took a bite and actually managed to say, “Um, this is great. Maybe the onion taste is a little….prominent?” without spitting anything into her napkin. We threw that batch out and started over, and the second try was far more successful.

I finally got around to writing out what I did, so in time for her Thanksgiving and yours, here’s my great second times the charm cranberry recipe.

Tresa’s Sweet and Savory Cranberry Sauce

1/4 C red onion, diced
2 Tbs butter
2 C water
1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
2 C sugar
1/3 C apple juice
1 C brown sugar
4 Tbs red wine vinegar
zest from one orange
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger

Dice the red onion and sweat in the butter. Don’t let the onion brown, keep the heat down until the onion gets all lovely and translucent. When the onions are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer. After a little while the cranberries will pop open. Give it a few stirs, mash some of those cranberries up against the side of the pan, and continue to let simmer and reduce. You can let this go as long as you want for the desired thickness, but I call it good enough once it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon well. Pour into a jar and stick in the fridge until it cools.