Cranberry sauce. People either love it or hate it. Traditionally, my family uses the cranberry jelly out of a can. Open it, “schlock!” and put it on a platter, looking just like the can it came out of. We don’t really care for the whole cranberry sauce canned; unless it’s an ingredient in something else, it just isn’t happening. The great thing about the jellied cranberry sauce that comes out of a can is you can slice it and it’s easier to put on your traditional next-day turkey sandwich. Beyond that, it has few redeeming qualities.
Enter Ina Garten. I like Ina, always have. I would watch her Barefoot Contessa episodes regularly, even taping some on old VHS tape to reference later. I have two of her books, “The Barefoot Contessa” and “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” I highly recommend both. In her “Parties” book, she includes the most delicious cranberry fruit conserve that is now a staple on my Thanksgiving table, only after three years after its introduction as part of my family’s meal! Of course, I saw Ina make it on TV before I bought her book, and she sure made it look extra-special by serving it in a silver bowl. I served mine in a crystal bowl, and both presentations look festive and the conserve is delicious!
1 12-oz. bag of whole, fresh cranberries, cleaned
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 c. raisins
3/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Cook the cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins pop open. Add the apple, zests, juices and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the raisins and nuts. Let cool, and served chilled.