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Author Notes: A few years ago, one of my friends, a landscaper, showed me a hidden natural cranberry bog near Seattle. I've gone back nearly every year since to pick my own cranberries. (Wellies are required, believe me.) Once I had fresh cranberries to work with, I had to make the sauce. My mom is quite partial to the sweetness and flavor of Grand Marnier, so that seemed the perfect pairing.
Orange juice can be substituted for some of the apple juice, if you would like a stronger orange flavor. Orange juice can also be substituted for the Grand Marnier, though the sauce won’t taste quite as rich. —beyondcelery
Makes 40oz (5 jars 8oz each)
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 cups Grand marnier
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 4 quarter-sized coins fresh ginger, skinned and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 5 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbls water
- Combine apple juice, Grand Marnier, brown sugar, ginger, and orange zest in a large pot (heavy-bottom works best). Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add cranberries to boiling syrup, stirring well, and bring mixture back to a rolling boil on medium-high heat.
- Cook until the berries are nearly all burst, about 10-15 minutes. Stir constantly for the first 4-5 minutes, then stir frequently. Crush some of the berries against the side of the pot with the back of your spoon if you would like a smoother sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add spices, vanilla, and cornstarch water. Simmer, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Taste for sweetness and add sugar if necessary, keeping in mind that sauce will sweeten slightly as it cools. Be sure to cook sauce until all extra sugar is melted and incorporated, or your sauce will turn grainy.
- Serve hot or cold, depending on preference. This sauce cans well, with a processing time of about 10 minutes.
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