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Cranberry sauce is not only for Thanksgiving. However, cranberries are seasonal. Thus, you should make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it for later.
This sauce is excellent with barbecued pork roast. It's not merely for eating with turkey.
1 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1 package fresh cranberries (approximately 3 cups)
1 medium orange
1 jalapeño pepper WARNING
Rinse and drain the cranberries.
Use a potato peeler to remove the zest (outermost peel) of the orange. Cut the zest into small pieces. Peel the orange, discarding the inner peel. Remove any seeds from the orange, breaking it apart into small sections.
Cut the stem end off the jalapeño pepper. Slice the pepper lengthwise. Remove all seeds and the interior partitions. Rinse the pieces of pepper to ensure all seeds are gone. Cut the pepper shell in small pieces.
Put the jalapeño pepper, the orange zest, and one or two sections of orange into a blender or food processor. (I use my mini-processor for this.) Purée them. Add the rest of the orange sections and chop medium-fine.
Put the water, sugar, and cranberries in a large, covered pot over a low fire. Stir occasionally. When the berries begin to cook, they will pop softly (not as loud as popcorn). Cook for 5 minutes after the last pop. Add the orange and pepper. Continue cooking over a low fire for another minute.
Allow the sauce to cool. Then refrigerate it.
If you use a navel orange (which is less juicy than a Valencia orange), the orange and jalapeño mix might be fluffy instead of liquid. This is okay. However, you may add about 1 or 2 TBS of water to the blender if you think the mix is too thick to remove easily.
Do not add the orange and jalapeño mix too soon or cook too long after adding it. Otherwise the tang of the pepper will be lost.
The sauce should be served cold. Thus, it must be made well in advance so that it can be chilled before serving.
Use a pot much larger than you think necessary. When you uncover the pot to stir or add the orange and pepper blend, you don't want the bubbling sauce to spatter outside the pot. To prevent scorching, I use a heavy cast iron pot that spreads the heat evenly.
The original recipe called for a full cup of sugar. Because I have type-2 diabetes, I reduced that to 3/4 cup. This reduction affected neither the taste nor the consistency of the sauce.
1 December 2006
Updated 23 November 2018
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