Jon grew up in Carver, a little town in southeastern Massachusetts that we like to refer to as "The Cranberry Capital of the World." In Carver, you can pretty much look in any direction and see a cranberry bog from wherever you stand. Back in the day, the Ocean Spray headquarters were even located in Carver (they've since moved to a larger facility just up the road in Middleboro.) I swear the roads in this town are tinted maroon from decades worth of cranberries bouncing out of trucks and getting smooshed into the pavement. Needless to say, when it comes time for Thanksgiving, there's not a single type of cranberry sauce that our cranberry-loving family won't eat. Whole berry, jellied, or homemade, if it's got cranberries in it, we're totally on board.
Here's a quick and simple recipe for my twist on a traditional cranberry sauce. It's the perfect option for when you don't want to commit to making it completely from scratch, but want to jazz it up a little bit from what you'd get directly out of a can (or in this case, a box.) Jon and I both love this sauce, because it doesn't just have that sweet-tart flavor you'd normally find in a more classic recipe. The combination of shallots and vinegar give the sauce an underlying savoriness that combines with tangy cranberries to pair perfectly with turkey, stuffing, and all of your Thanksgiving sides.
Give this one a try...I promise, it will quickly become your new favorite!
Makes about 2 cups
1 TB olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
1 TB apple cider vinegar
1 box (15.5 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce (I prefer this one from Pacific Foods)
¼ cup prepared apple butter (I prefer this one from The Backyard Food Company)
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and a pinch each of salt and pepper, and sauté 4-5 minutes or until translucent and beginning to brown. Deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar, stirring and cooking until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Add cranberry sauce, apple butter, and another pinch each of salt and pepper, and stir well to combine. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 5-6 minutes to thicken slightly. Cool and serve, or refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will thicken back up as it cools and will keep up to 1 week if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
How do you like your cranberry sauce—homemade, store-bought, or a blend of both?