JOY of Cooking Recipe: Whole Cranberry Sauce with Dijon and Walnuts

Megan Scott is the newest member of the JOY clan. After meeting John Becker in Asheville, North Carolina, she was warmly welcomed into the family and the happy couple was married on September 29, 2012. After graduating with a degree in French literature, Megan worked in a bakery where she honed her pastry skills and developed a passion for high-quality baked goods of all kinds. This experience with fast-paced industrial kitchen work inspired her to create her farmer's market baking business, The Little Blue Baking Company. Megan's work for JOY involves a little bit of everything. She is JOY's blogger-in-residence, she works with John on digital projects, newspaper articles, and food photography, and has spearheaded the Joy of Cooking's kitchen garden and flock of chickens. During her time off, she maintains a lively sourdough starter, sews, spins wool, and does yoga.

JOY_cranberries_400Cranberry sauce is a necessary player in the Thanksgiving drama. It provides much-needed acidity to a table laden with starches and fat. Its bright tartness cuts through the rich holiday flavors and provides a bold and beautiful contrast to the many earth-toned dishes present. There aren’t many foods that can stand up to turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie—but cranberry sauce can.

At our holiday table, we prefer a whole berry cranberry sauce—cranberries briefly simmered in simple syrup with various flavorings stirred in. We’ve found it’s the best way to maintain the integrity of the cranberries and play up the sauce’s potent flavor profile.

Here we’ve added Dijon mustard, black pepper, orange zest, and toasted walnuts, but you can add a variety of other things instead of or in addition to these ingredients. Try using minced shallots, dried cherries, a few tablespoons port or brandy, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, or ginger, fresh herbs, or diced apples.

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

by Irma S. Rombauer

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Whole Cranberry Sauce with Dijon and Walnuts
Serves 8 to 12

Pick over and remove any shriveled berries and debris:
1 pound cranberries
Rinse the berries. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar:
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Boil the syrup 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and simmer very gently, uncovered, without stirring, until the berries are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add:
Zest of one orange
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pour the berries into a serving dish and chill until completely cooled. Just before serving, sprinkle over the top of the cranberry sauce:
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

JOY_cranberries_500

Photo by Megan Scott

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