Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Not Too Late

We have returned home from the land of St. Honore'. Thanksgiving has come and gone, but there is still time to enjoy fresh cranberries. Right now bags of fresh cranberries are pretty inexpensive where I shop, so I grabbed a few more bags and threw one in the freezer for later. For now there is Cranberry Pear Sauce, perfect with leftover turkey if you still have some hanging around, but also a great dish to go with roast pork or duck or chicken thighs. It goes together fairly quickly and is delicious!

We had this sauce at Thanksgiving and it was so good that my nephew said it was the best cranberry sauce he had ever had. I chose to cook it because I usually served the canned jellied stuff but wanted something fresh, but not too sweet. I'm taking some to Meeta's Monthly Mingle which is for Traditional Feasts this month. Meeta blogs at the wonderful What's For Lunch Honey and hosts these mingles often, which is really nice. Come by after the first of December and see what everyone has brought.

This recipe is faintly like a chutney since it has some cider vinegar, cinnamon and grated fresh ginger, but it is also like a nice cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving with both white and brown sugar and the sweetness of sauteed pears. The recipe is a slight variation on one I found in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper November 14th. Give it a try while fresh cranberries and pears are in season. An addition of chopped toasted walnuts would be good, too.

Cranberry-Pear Sauce
Makes about 3 cups - serves 8

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 ripe pears, preferably Bartlett, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup, packed, dark brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
12 oz. fresh cranberries, washed and picked over for spoiled berries

Heat the melted butter in a large saucepan. Add the pears and salt and cook oer moderately low heat, stirring, until they begin to soften, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the sugars, vinegar, cinnamon and ginger and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to prevent sticking. (Your kitchen will smell heavenly!)

Add the cranberries and cook over moderate heat until the cranberries have fully cooked and thickened, 15-20 minutes, crushing the berries against the sides of the pan. Transfer to a bowl, remove the cinnamon stick if used, and let cool before serving.


  1. I might make this with my chicken tomorrow...yum.

  2. Yum. A couple of years ago the Chron had a great cranberry-orange peel sauce, and we did that one, and then of course there's NPR's relish, which everyone has to do at least once...

    Every year the Thanksgiving Food section is my favorite section of the paper. I'll have to try this one after Christmas when cranberries go on discount; they've JUST now come on the market, as people eat them for Christmas (since there is no Thanksgiving here).

  3. And she only got 1 lone bag, believe it or not ... because it's not like we've got the visitors to eat the cranberry sauce here, either!

    Sounds delicious!

  4. Peabody, This sauce would be great with chicken.

    Tad, The Chron really has a great food section on Wednesdays, expecially during holidays. I don't have a subscription, but now and again buy it from the box.

    Davi, One bag is better than none. Tell everyone this is a chutney and you might find some takers :)

  5. Oh oh!
    I love the addition of pear to this sauce. I can imagine this with many meats. Simply awesome and thanks for the special submission!