Monday, November 24, 2008

Tea Spiced Cranberry Sauce

I thought that I should be posting something season appropriate, maybe something to inspire an upcoming holiday meal menu. Many different items came to mind, which I will post as time goes on but for now I setteled on one of my favorite things at a thanksgiving meal (aside from stuffing), cranberry sauce. This is a great recipe for cranberry sauce that I found in Sunset Magazine a while back. While it does use some spices and earl grey tea, it provides a subtle background of flavor that makes this cranberry sauce really well balanced, not too sweet, not too tart and with a lingering flavor of a hint of spice and tea. Give it a try!

I made a large batch a while back and canned it so I'm ready to go for the year! It's very easy to can, and you would do it the way you can any normal jam. There is enough sugar that things don't get to technical or require a pressure canner. In one of my upcoming posts I am going to blog about how I make my applesauce and will go more in depth about the steps I go through when I can a product. Until then, make a batch of this and enjoy all the great food this time of year brings!

Tea Spiced Cranberry Sauce (taken directly from Sunset Magazine)

In a 4-quart pot over high heat, combine:
1 3/4 cups water
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 whole cardamom pods
3 whole star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes.
5 Earl Grey tea bags
and simmer exactly 2 minutes. Remove tea bags and spices with a slotted spoon.
8 cups whole cranberries (about 2 1/2 bags, fresh or frozen).
Increase heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring often, until cranberries soften and split their skins and sauce thickens, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving (the sauce will thicken further as it cools). Or cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.

Sunset, NOVEMBER 2006

*Notes* I have found this lasts quite a bit longer than 4 days in the refridgerator. Before straining out all the tea bags and spices, make sure to taste the soultion, in the past I have found that 2 minutes isn't long enough and will let it sit (with the heat off) for 10-15 minutes or longer, until it's fairly strong tasting and then I'll proceed with the rest of the recipe. I have also tried this with other black teas (can be loose leaf) and have had great results.

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