Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

This is like the best day ever.  Here's why:
- It's my birthday.
- I got an Ipad.
- I had a guest post put up on Macheesmo! (same post as below - http://www.macheesmo.com/2011/11/guest-post-bake-or-buy-cranberry-sauce/#comments)
- I am going to get the bestest creme brulee tonight.

So anyways... onto the subject at hand:
I know... I'm just asking to make some enemies with this one.  There is a clear line between who likes their sauce from a can (still in the shape of it even) or chunky and fresh.

The store brand: Ocean Spray - I bought both Jellied and Whole Berry

My recipe:
1 bag cranberries (12 ounce)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
pinch cinnamon

It's pretty easy - put it all in a pan and let it cook down over medium heat for about 15 minutes.  I was using fresh oranges, but I realized my oranges didn't have quite enough juice, so I ended up using half store bought juice.

And once it's all said and done (mine's on the right):

And if you have to have the can shape:

Interestingly enough, the whole berry and jellied cranberry sauce had the exact same ingredients - cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, and corn syrup.  One is just emulified and one's not.  So I win nutrition right there.

My cranberry sauce actually jelled up a lot more than I thought it would when it cooled - it was really thick and delicious (I bet you could even use a hand blender and shape it like a can if you had to).  The canned jellied version is totally out - I knew that was true for me, I need the chunk. 

Head-to-head on the whole berry version?  Homemade crushes the taste category.  It's fresh and tart, and that hint of citrus makes it.  Period.  The canned was oversweetened, so you didn't even get a good feel for the tartness of the cranberries.

And the cost?  Well it actually costs more to make your own.  But aside from Thanksgiving, how often do you have cranberry sauce?  Treat your guests for the holiday!

      Size     Cost     Cost/Oz
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce14 oz $      1.99  $           0.14
Homemade16 oz $      3.15  $           0.20

So, Bake or Buy?  BAKE!

On a side note, what did I do with all that cranberry sauce?  I'm still trying to get rid of an influx of apples, so I made cran-apple crisp.  Mix a batch of that fresh cranberry sauce with 4 sliced apples and top with your favorite crisp topping!
My recipe:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 stick butter (cubed)

Fork the crisp ingredients together and spread over the top of the apple/cranberry mixture.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  Eat warm!  Wish I would have shot a picture of this - it's just GORGEOUS! :)


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