Monday, December 13, 2010

Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

For years and years, I searched for the perfect cranberry sauce. I tried adding allspice, cloves, Zinfandel, and orange zest. I tried simmering, boiling, and marinating the cranberries. And then a couple years ago, I stumbled upon the ultimate cranberry sauce, courtesy of Epicurious.

The secret is bourbon, but don't let that scare you off. I make things like bourbon balls for the holidays because I have some bourbon lovers in the family, but I personally can't really handle the spirit. In cranberry sauce, though, it's magical--it adds just enough punch to play off the tartness of the cranberries, and it brings out all of the fruit's complexity. Somehow, it also adds a hint of an orange flavor, and it tones down the mouth-puckering sweetness of the sauce.

And the best part may be the fact that you don't have to watch a pot on the stove--you just throw 3 ingredients together in a baking dish and throw the whole thing in the oven for an hour; it's almost ridiculously simple and easy. And! for some reason, the baking dish even comes clean really easily. So if you want a complex, interesting cranberry sauce instead of the usual cloying culprits, you need to try this sauce for your next holiday get together. 

Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
(Slightly adapted from Epicurious)

  • 1 pound (about 4 cups) cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 3 ingredients in 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until cranberries are tender and sugar is dissolved, stirring once, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and stir in bourbon. Refrigerate cranberry sauce until well chilled. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead.) Transfer to bowl and serve.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) LOVED this for his event at my store. It was scooped into small filo cups. He pounded what seemed to be 20 to 30 of them.