I love foods that taste like dessert but are served with dinner, and cranberry sauce tops my list! Try this zipped up version with apples and pears, walnuts and raisins. Dates are used instead of refined sugar, and a few pomegranate seeds add a bit of whimsy.
3-4 medjool dates, pitted and diced
½ cup water
1 12-oz. bag fresh or frozen whole cranberries (about 2+ cups)
1 cup water
1 pear, cored and diced
1 apple, cored and diced
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground clove
Pomegranate seeds (optional)
1. Place diced dates in a cup with ½ cup water (or enough just to cover).
2. While the dates are soaking, place cranberries in a pot with 1 cup water and cook uncovered on medium until skins split open and mixture begins boil, about 10 minutes.
3. Blend dates in their water in a blender until smooth (or see note below).
4. Add to the cranberries: the pear, apple, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and date mixture, and simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened.
Notes: Golden raisins are great too, if you can find them. It’s hard to find them organic, so I usually just go with the brown. / Asian pears work well too in place of the apple and/or pear. / Use fresh whole nutmeg (with a Microplane grater) for enhanced flavor. / If you don’t want to soak/blend the dates, you may also mince them and add them in with the apples, etc. / Make this the night before you are planning to serve it so the flavors thoroughly co-mingle.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 (half-cup portions)
Cranberry sauce is not only part of American tradition, but also Canadian and some European traditions. Since the early 21st century, raw cranberries have been marketed as a “superfruit” due to their nutrient content and antioxidant qualities. Crafty cooks use cranberries to add tartness to savory dishes, such as soups and stews.