I love cranberry sauce. You can keep your stuffing, your gravy (blech!), as long as you give me my cranberry sauce, I’m happy.
What’s astonishing to me about cranberry sauce is how insanely easy it is to make. The idea that people open a can of that gelatinous mound of cranberry goop is mind-blowing to me. If you buy a bag of cranberries (and Ocean Spray pretty much has them in every grocery store this time of year) and add them to a pot with sugar and a splash of water, turn up the heat, you’ll have a cranberry sauce in five minutes. It’s really that simple.
The fun part, though, is adding other stuff to that same pot. You can make your cranberry sauce super savory with onions or shallots; you can make it crunchy with the addition of walnuts and pecans. This particular cranberry sauce, which I found on Epicurious, has the notable addition of three persimmons.
I’m new to persimmons (I’m going to blog about my first persimmons later this week) but I’m seeing them all over the place, here in California. I found these particular beauties–fuyu persimmons–at the farmer’s market:
And really, all you want to do here is peel them (they peel real easily) and then chop ’em up:
They go in at the very end. Before that, you add your cranberries to a pot with a splash of red wine, water, sugar and half a star anise. I took the liberty of adding some freshly grated ginger, just because I had it:
Up the heat goes, the cranberries go POP! and then you turn off the heat and stir in those persimmons:
The persimmons stay relatively crunchy so you get a great textural contrast and the flavor remains tart. If you’ve got persimmons where you live, give this cranberry sauce a go. It’s something different but will satisfy the cranberry sauce nuts–like me!–who’ll rebel if you open that awful can.
Recipe: Persimmon Cranberry Sauce
Summary: A unique riff on a classic from Epicurious.
- 3/4 lb fresh or frozen cranberries (3 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 star anise (this gives things a licorice like flavor)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons (about 1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Bring cranberries, wine, water, star anise, 1/2 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add more sugar, to taste (up to about 2 1/2 tablespoons), and discard star anise. Fold in persimmons.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature or chilled. Stir gently before serving.
It’s not a comprable substitute at all, but because I didn’t want to open a bottle of red wine for this, I just added a splash of Grand Marnier. The orange flavor worked nicely with the star anise and ginger, but again, it takes the sauce in a totally different direction. If you don’t want to spend money on alcohol, just skip it entirely.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8