The Best Cranberry Sauce

24 Nov

In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a recipe for a Spiced Tea Cranberry Sauce that I developed for Sunset magazine a few years ago. It’s made with cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and—stay with me—Earl Grey tea. That may sound odd, but Early Grey is flavored with bergamot, a citrus fruit, and it’s amazing with cranberries.

This sauce is incredibly easy to make—just pay close attention to the timing, so you don’t over-steep the tea.

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; and 3 cinnamon sticks. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Add 5 Earl Grey tea bags, and simmer exactly 2 minutes. Remove tea bags and spices with a slotted spoon and add 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. Yield: 6 cups

(Photo by Iain Bagwell)

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One Response to “The Best Cranberry Sauce”

  1. molly November 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    I love this!!!! Thanks for the reminder. We will be eating this on Thursday and toasting your clever self. Happy happy!

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