Just in time for Thanksgiving, this delicious variation on traditional cranberry sauce deserves a place at your table. Cranberry sauce, like apple sauce is so ridiculously easy to make and so much more delicious than its canned or bottled cousins, there is no reason whatsoever not to make it yourself. The natural pectin in the berries thickens the sauce without having to add anything. This version, a tangy, spicy, chunky sauce takes about 25 minutes to make, most of which time it just sits on the stove simmering merrily away. You regulate the heat by using only half the habanero instead of a whole one, depending on the size. They are very hot, very citrusy and compliment the flavor of the cranberries and the fruit juice beautifully. In this dish, the heat should be more of an overtone rather than “in your face hot”. It you like, you can omit the chile altogether, the sauce is almost as good. It just won’t be a Hot Eddie’s sanctioned version. Just kidding. Do whatever you like, that’s the whole point of cooking. I use fresh pomegranate juice from the farmer’s market, you can use bottled pomegranate, fresh orange juice or just add a little more water. It is great for the big dinner and on your turkey sandwiches the next day.
Ginger Habanero Cranberry Sauce – Prep time 5 minutes. Cooking time 15 minutes. Makes about 2 cups
One 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
Juice and zest of 1 large lime
2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh Habanero pepper
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice or fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup water
Wash and sort the cranberries. Discard any funky looking ones or any sinkers. Cut habenero in half, remove the seeds and mince fine. Be sure to wear rubber gloves for this and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Put cranberries in heavy saucepan with all ingredients and bring to gentle boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
The berries will start to pop as they cook, it’s a cheerful little sound. When the berries are cooked and the sauce thickened, mash the berries with a spoon to get the desired texture, and remove from heat.
Let cool and store in covered container in refrigerator. Keeps for a week or more, but it usually doesn’t last that long.