cranberries: candied, fruity and drunk

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Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from the back of the Ocean Spray cranberry bag, and my friend Dan

Makes 2 1/4 cups

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed, drained and sorted through, removing any stems or deflated ones
Several julienned strips of orange peel, or thick pieces of zest
A few squeezes of orange juice

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries and zest, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10-14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a few squeezes of fresh orange juice. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.

Alex’s Mother’s Cranberry Sauce

1 15-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
1 15-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 bag frozen mixed berries, not defrosted
1 handful chopped walnuts

Break up the jellied cranberry sauce into chunks in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Stir. Frozen berries will melt as it sits.

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Dried Figs
Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2001

Makes about 3 1/2 cups

1 2/3 cups ruby Port
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
8 dried black Mission figs, stemmed, chopped
1 6-inch-long sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar

Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Discard rosemary. Mix in cranberries and 3/4 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until liquid is slightly reduced and berries burst, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer sauce to bowl; chill until cold.

Do ahead: Cranberry sauce can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.


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