When the holiday season arrives, I begin to think about those special extra touches, those added conveyors of layers of flavor that I may not add to the table on an everyday basis. I want condiments that sparkle in both flavor and appearance and that are versatile. Can they be utilized in more than one way? In savory or sweet applications? On a cheese board or served alongside a gorgeous roast? Is it possible that they can be gifted in a lovely jar with ribbon for guests to take home? Those are the condiments that I want to create!
Blackberry Cranberry Raspberry Sauce Recipe
This recipe is really a mash-up of multiple recipes that I have prepared through the years to serve with Thanksgiving Day roast turkey. During one year, I used a Bobby Flay recipe, Cranberry-Blackberry Relish, which I loved. But, I have family and friends who are not as fond of cranberries as I am, and do not like jalapeno, but I found that if I added a good proportion of other fruits, they enjoyed the sauce.
The recipe is a savory-sweet-tart sauce that is excellent paired with poultry, is beautiful presented in jars as gifts, and, I must confess, is delicious over raspberry or vanilla bean gelato. It would be gorgeous in appearance and a wonderful pairing with Christmas holiday capon, turkey, or even ham. It is delicious served on a cheese board with brie.
This recipe made sufficient sauce for serving 8 for Thanksgiving dinner, and a few small jars for gifting. It can be stored for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 and ½ cups fresh orange juice
- ½ cup sugar
- 12 ounces cranberries, divided in half
- 1 pint fresh blackberries
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flake
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (this time of year, tangerines are fragrant, bright orange, which makes beautiful zest, and they are sweet!)
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent.
- Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the orange juice, half the cranberries, and the red pepper flakes.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries pop and are soft.
- Add the remaining cranberries and cook for just a minute or two.
- Remove from the heat and add the blackberries, raspberries, about a Tablespoon of honey and the orange zest.
- Add 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat leafed parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings.
This version of cranberry sauce is sweet and tart, and the flavors of the raspberries, blackberries and cranberries are distinct flavors. There is a hint of ginger and red pepper flake for a slight heat, and there is fresh flavor of orange juice. The flavors are well-balanced. This sauce can be made ahead, and the flavors deepen as it cools.
Roasted Pear-Cranberry-Raisin Chutney
I love the sweet-tart-tangy-savory flavor of chutneys! The inspiration for this particular chutney began with my love of roasted pears. In years past, I often prepared pears poached in wine as a dessert, as a gift-in-a-jar, or as a great garnish for holiday roasts. But, this year, I began roasting pears and discovered that roasting results in concentrated pear flavor with caramel-sweetness.
Roasted Bosc pears began making appearances on charcuterie boards, with a dab of Point Reyes Bleu cheese and a drizzle of Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic. Roasted, beautifully golden brown and sliced and fanned out on a dessert plate with a scoop of gelato and a drizzle of sea salt and caramel sauce. Then, I created this chutney, beginning with roasted pears, which will pair well with roast pork or poultry, and will be equally welcome on a cheese board with a triple crème cheese, or a Huntsman, which is a Gloucester-Stilton combination.
- 6 ripe but still firm pears, Bosc or D’Anjou, halved and cored, skin on
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in brandy for 1 hour and then drained
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vinegar of your choice (apple cider would be traditional, but6 I used a pear-cinnamon
- infused balsamic from Italy)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed brown mustard seed (a Savory Spice Shop product)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1/4 cup White Moscato wine (or another sweet, white wine)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- orange zest for garnish
Roast the pears, halved, cored, placed cut side down on parchment lines baking sheet with rim in a 425 oven for 30-40 minutes. The cut side will be caramelized and browned when down, but the pears will still hold their shape. Set aside to cool.
Place the cranberries, sugar, vinegar, wine, and all seasoning in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to simmer and simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until all the cranberries have burst and softened, and the sauce is thick.
Remove it from the heat.
Dice the pears, and add the pears and drained raisins to the chutney. Stir to combine.
Serve in a clear glass bowl or compote dish and garnish with grated lemon or orange zest. Actually, some candied orange peel would be lovely if you have some on hand, or have the time to make some!
This will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator.
This chutney has the flavor punches that you expect from chutneys, but with the softer, milder balsamic vinegar and the sweet, deep flavor of the roasted pears. You will taste the savory shallot, a hint of garlic, an innuendo of brown mustard, and a harmonious blend of warm spices, and then the tart cranberries. This chutney would be wonderful with a roast pork loin or crown roast of pork, or with a ham.
Here is an example of the versatility of roasted pears–I served a platter of them, dabbed with Point Reyes Bleu Cheese, drizzled with a bit of Cinnamon and Pear-infused balsamic vinegar as an appetizer on Thanksgiving Day.
As the Christmas holiday approaches, there will be additional features about condiments and flavorful extra indulgences, such as Fig Port Wine Compote, to accompany a good brie, or a Pork Roast; a Gorgonzola Sauce to accompany your holiday Beef Tenderloin or Short Ribs; and a variety of Compound Butters. Please let me know if you have any requests for condiment recipes, or share your favorites as well as any other comments in the Comment box that follows each post.