Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Pear Sauce

Hi!  I feel like I'm apologizing for my absence in every post! The holidays and finals are really keeping me busy.  I have been cooking but I just haven't had time to post anything.  The next couple weeks will be dedicated to everything that I made for Thanksgiving. This was my first year actually cooking dishes from scratch so I was pretty excited. My mom, grandmother, and I cooked the staples - the turkey, potatoes, and stuffing - together but I took over most of the rest of the side dishes and desserts.

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday.  It's a whole day dedicated to food, football, family, and adult beverages. What's not to love?  The Packers stomped the Lions (if you watched the game... pun intended) so that ensured that my day would be glorious. I am thankful that they are the best team in the NFL and that Aaron Rodgers is so charming and handsome.

Back to food...

The dish I was most excited about was the cranberry sauce.  Weird, right? I could eat it right out of the can with the spoon. I love mixing it with mayo to have as a holiday inspired condiment throughout the year.  However, a couple years ago I read that it is the item with the least nutritional value on the Thanksgiving table. Probably because the canned stuff is just pure sugar and chemicals. No, this did not stop me from eating slice after slice. But this year I decided to try to find a recipe to "healthify" the sweet condiment. Trust me, the canned version still has a very special place in my heart and cabinet but it's simply not pretty enough for a feast. I'm a classy gal so I want classy condiments while I eat my turkey dinner like a barbarian. 

This recipe is surprisingly delicious, easy, and healthy! And it looks way more attractive on the table than a tube of jelly that stays in the shape of the can it has probably been sitting in for 10 years.  I love that the pears are responsible for a lot of the sweetness rather than copious amounts of sugar.  This was my first time using agave and it worked well in the recipe.  I tasted it before I added it and was a little worried because it tasted a little like honey (which I don't really like) but I didn't taste it in the final flavor. If you don't have agave or don't feel like searching for it, you can just add sugar until it is sweet enough for you.

Some people (my mother) weren't crazy about the skins of the cranberries in the sauce.  I generally like texture in my food so I loved it but next year I might try to strain out the cranberry skins and leave the chunks of pear.  So make this next year!  It's definitely more difficult to shake the jelly out of the can than it is to make this.

Cranberry Pear Sauce (from Skinnytaste)
  • 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored, and cubed small
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 cup water
1.  Bring all the ingredients to a boil on high heat in a medium saucepan.
2.  When boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool before refrigerating. Serve chilled or room temperature.  Makes 3 1/4 cups.

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