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Italian Cranberry Sauce Recipe

This Holiday season, make your own cranberry sauce and add a touch of Italian flavor using the juice of sweet Sicilian blood oranges.

But how to make cranberry sauce? It is easy and very fast and once you will try this recipe, you will never go back to pre-made canned cranberry sauce again.

Homemade cranberry sauce is also a great preserve to enjoy on toast and butter all year around. I normally fill up a few Mason jars, and then I follow a regular canning process (to avoid bacteria growth and contamination) which allows to maintain the preserve fresh and delicious for many, many months.

Ingredients and Instructions (serves 6-10):

2 pounds/ 900 grams of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 oranges, Sicilian Blood or other sweet variety
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
10 cloves
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of orange liqueur or orange extract

1. Start by cooking the cranberries in a large pot over medium heat with 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 10 cloves, one cup of water and the fresh juice of 2 Sicilian blood oranges (they can be found fresh in many good grocery stores; if not, replace with regular sweet oranges). Stir often to prevent the cranberries from sticking on the bottom and burn.

2. When the cranberries are soft, in about 15-20 minutes, the liquid should also have reduced completely. Turn off the heat, let cool off a few minutes and then crush the soft cranberries with a potato masher. The consistency of the sauce will be still a bit running, but it will condense while cooling off. I like the sauce a little chunky, but if you prefer it with a smoother and creamier texture, use an immersion blender or a food processor for this step.

3. Add the vanilla extract and the orange liqueur or extract, stir thoroughly and then let the sauce cool off completely. You may add more sugar at this point, depending on your taste, however, the sauce will get sweeter as it rest and condense.

4. Finally, bring the cranberry sauce to the table in a nice bowl and garnish with a couple of cinnamon sticks.

Buon appetito.

Cinzia Aversa, 2013

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