Today's chefs continue to find new ways to use cranberries -- cranberry salsas, cranberry chutney and cranberries with wines and liqueurs.
We have gone in the opposite direction this year, back to the basics. This is an adaptation of the cranberry recipe from Irma Rombauer's original 1931 "Joy of Cooking" (we've updated it by including refrigeration). It was dropped from "Joy" when the classic cookbook was updated in 1997, but the authors have seen the error of their ways. It's reappearing in the "Joy" scheduled to come out next year.
This has an intense flavor that's appreciated by people who love the flavor of unadulterated cranberries -- even those who have grown up with, and swear by, the canned version. Note that standard bags of cranberries weigh 12 ounces, so you'll need 11/3 bags for this recipe.
MAKE AHEAD: Several days ahead; cover tightly and refrigerate.
4 cups cranberries
2 cups boiling water
2 cups sugar
Have ready a 6- to 8-inch glass bowl.
Place the cranberries in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the boiling water. Cover and boil the berries for about 4 minutes, or until all the skins have burst.
Remove from the heat. Pour entire contents of saucepan through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Press cranberries through the sieve with a spoon or spatula until no pulp remains in the strainer. (You should have about 11/2 cups of liquid and pulp.) Rinse out the saucepan and return to the stovetop. Pour in cranberry puree and add sugar, stirring to combine. Boil for 5 minutes, skimming and removing any white froth from the top of the mixture.
Transfer to the serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, or overnight.
Per serving: 213 calories, 0 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber
Fresh Cranberry Relish
10 to 12 servings
This fast and simple uncooked version takes only a few pulses of the food processor to produce a fresh-tasting relish with orange overtones. Adapted from "Thanksgiving Entertaining" (Williams-Sonoma, 2005).
MAKE AHEAD: 1 day in advance, so that the sugar dissolves and melds with the fruit; store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
1 large orange, seeds and half of the rind removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, cored, quartered and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 thin slices (1/2 teaspoon) peeled ginger root
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until the mixture is chopped and the consistency is firm, but not pureed.
Transfer to an airtight container, cover and store overnight.
Per serving (based on 12): 53 calories, 0 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber
Recipes tested by Judith M. Havemann; e-mail questions to email@example.com