Thanksgiving and cranberry sauce are the proverbial food marriage on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner table. It’s tradition! To leave it off the menu would have the family wondering if I was losing my marbles.
I have fond memories of my mom cooking fresh cranberries with sugar and cinnamon on the stove-top to get ready for the Thanksgiving feast. I followed in her tradition for many years. Then, thought it would be more fun to strike out with a few creative touches to the cranberry sauce .
Combining the cranberries with pears had great appeal and so did the addition of ginger. By the time I was finished playing, I had a super delicious and super easy version of cranberry sauce. It even looks more appealing than any of my past ventures. I was actually amazed at how quickly this recipe came together.
Yet, so many people shun fresh cranberries and turn to buying the stuff in the can. Honestly, canned cranberry sauce doesn’t hold a candle to this flavorful recipe that’s featured in the Thanksgiving section of my Vegan for the Holidays cookbook.
One of the features that make cranberry sauce such a holiday favorite is that it can be prepared up to a week ahead of the holiday. Sugar is quite the preservative and has been for eons. Just cover it and tuck it into the fridge–that is, after it cools and it will be ready when you need it. Prepare it several days in advance–it’s a great keeper.
If the sauce looks runny after cooking, remember that cranberries contain natural pectin that thickens when cooled and refrigerated.
This is a slightly chunky version of cranberry sauce. If you want it to be less chunky, cook it 10 to 15 minutes longer. You can even use an immersion blender if you want a smoother, less textured consistency.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 large firm pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup water
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 slices fresh Fuju persimmon, for garnish
- Combine all the ingredients, except the persimmon, in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Just as the mixture comes to a boil, immediately decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours to thicken.
- Before serving, artfully tuck 2 slices of persimmon into the compote so they stand upright.