Cranberry sauce has been a serious point of contention in our house for years. My mom is deeply wedded to the jellied version directly from the can. As far as she is concerned, if it’s not sickeningly sweet and in the shape of a can, it’s not cranberry sauce. I like my cranberry sauce sweet, but my opposition to all foods that wiggle prevents me from taking her side in the great cranberry debate. Jellied cranberry sauce is only one step removed from my dreaded nemesis: raspberry gelatin. Ick. My step-dad, on the other hand, is a big fan of cranberry chutney; chunky and spicy and a bit sour. Chutney, compete with caramelized onions, garlic, and raisins, is awesome on grilled cheese as well as turkey dinner. But my brother, who hates onions in any form, turns his nose up at this chutney.
Which is why, every year, we have at least two, and sometimes three different versions of cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table.
But this year will be different. I think I have finally found the common ground. Sweet, but not too sweet. Chunky, onion free, and complex. This is a cranberry compote to please them all. If you haven’t encountered the combination of cranberry and pomegranate you’re in for a treat. Not only is the color deep, rich and beautiful on the holiday table, but the taste is succulent and fresh. The pomegranate arils pop in your mouth for an extra layer of texture.
And while certainly lovely in a pretty bowl next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing and pumpkin pie, I’m a big fan of cranberry sauce as an all-purpose condiment. Particularly this cranberry compote. Try it mixed with a bit of mayonnaise as a cranberry spread for roast beef sandwiches. Layer with plain yogurt and sprinkle with granola for a breakfast parfait. Or serve it with apple honey cake as a fantastic dessert, as I will be doing tomorrow evening at my POM Wonderful dinner party.
Pomegranate week is almost over! But I promise to give you all the details on my big dinner party tomorrow, with all the components put together.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 small apple, diced
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup pomegranate seeds (also called arils)
In a large saucepan, heat the pomegranate juice, apple, cranberries, sugar and ginger over medium-low heat. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until thickened and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pomegranate arils. Serve warm or at room temperature.