I auditioned Cindy Pawlcyn’s cranberry sauce the other day. Shall I offer you my bold, brash, and brazenly-honest opinion of the stuff? Please brace yourself. Unfiltered truth can be difficult to handle.
So here’s the truth, Ruth.
I think Cindy Pawlcyn’s cranberry sauce is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It’s zingy with fresh ginger, colorful and slightly acidic with red wine, and barely-sweet with brown sugar and honey. It’s the cranberry sauce of my ruby-red dreams.
I made only one change to Cindy’s directions. After the sauce had simmered, I fished out the slices of fresh ginger. They’d already released their essence into the sauce, but they were too woody, I felt, for good eating.
Here’s the recipe, as adapted by moi:
Take 2 (12-ounce) bags of fresh cranberries…
And put them in a medium-size pot over medium heat.
Add 1 cup dry red wine.
Oh. Be sure to use a high-quality red wine. For this adventure, I used Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais-Village. Other good reds include Coppola Claret and William Hill Cabernet.
Stir in 3 tablespoons honey (I used raw, local honey)…
A knob of peeled, thinly-sliced ginger…
A pinch of kosher salt…
And 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar.
Now give the pot a good stir…
And let the ingredients simmer gently until most (but not all) of the berries pop — 20-30 minutes.
Off heat, stir in 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper.
Retrieve and discard the ginger if it hasn’t softened appreciably. Then transfer the sauce to a bowl, and let it cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or for several days. Yes, this is a sauce that you can make well ahead of serving time.
Serve this totally awesome condiment with pride for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or whenever a cranberry flavor explosion is required. It’s the ideal accompaniment for roast chicken, pork, or turkey.
Here’s the printable: