Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cranberry Sauce!

Hi everyone!  We are getting so close to Thanksgiving!  Have you finalized your plans?  We are going to see Chris’s family in Nevada City, CA for Thanksgiving, and then we will be with my family the day after.  I love it because it is a big food free-for-all for two days!  I am not sure what I will be bringing since we will be driving the two hours to Nevada City on Thursday morning.  I will probably just bring an appetizer that I can cook at Chris’s grandma’s house……I will show it to you in a bit.

First, I want to start with an easy cranberry sauce recipe that is guaranteed to impress.  Last year, I showed you how to make a sweet and spicy cranberry sauce that has horseradish in it.  This recipe is much more traditional.  It is sweet and tart, and perfect for Thanksgiving.

For this recipe, I used a 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, sugar, water, and Gourmet Rooster Ginger Pear spread.  I love the addition of the Ginger Pear spread to this.  The ginger works so perfectly with cranberries.  It gives it a bit of spice, but it is a warm spice…not a spicy “hot” spice.  It by no means overshadows the sweetness of the recipe.

Now obviously I prefer you use Gourmet Rooster Ginger Pear Spread, but I understand that many of you don’t have any on hand;)  Or any that you can get easily.  You can always check the “where to buy” section on my website, or you can use any pear jam you can find.  Just throw in a teaspoon of dried ginger.

And oh yea, you can always order it directly from me.

I start by bringing the water and sugar to a boil.  Then, I stir in the bag of cranberries.  I let this simmer for ten minutes. 

While it simmers, the cranberries will start to pop and thicken the mixture.  After ten minutes, I remove the pot from the heat and let it cool a bit.

Once the mixture cooled for about 5 or 10 minutes, I poured it into a bowl and stirred in an entire jar of Ginger Pear Spread.  I popped this in the fridge and let it cool down completely.  Once this cools, it will thicken into a “sauce”.

You have just completed homemade cranberry sauce.  How easy was that?  You so don’t need to open a can of cranberry sauce this year.  Make this….it is almost as easy, but 100 times better.

You can serve this on its own for Thanksgiving, but there are so many other things to do with it!  I will show you my favorite, which is also the appetizer I will make at Grandma Margaret’s house.  It is a baked brie.  I am down with any kind of baked cheese, so this tops my list;)

For this recipe, I used some of my ginger pear cranberry sauce, orange marmalade, puff pastry, a bit of cream, and a wheel of brie.

I think the cranberries and orange are a great combination.  But really, you could top brie with dirt and it would still be amazing.  If you don’t like orange marmalade, leave it out.  The ginger pear cranberry sauce has plenty of great flavor on its own.

I laid one sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet.  The package comes with two, usually.  I put a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce right in the middle of the puff pastry.  I topped that with about two tablespoons of orange marmalade.

Meanwhile, I had my oven pre-heating to 350 degrees…….

I placed the brie right on top of my sauces.  I folded the puff pastry up and around the brie.  I cut several slits in the puff pastry to make this easier.  Make sure you seal it tightly to prevent leakage!

Once I had my little package sealed, I flipped it over and put the smooth side facing up.  This will be prettier.

Are you wondering what to do with the extra sheet of puff pastry?  I used some autumnal cookie cutters to make a pretty decoration for the top of my baked brie.  And yes, I said autumnal.....I am super fancy.

Now comes the cream…..I “glued” the acorns on to the little package with a bit of cream.  Then, I brushed the entire top with cream.  This will help the puff pastry get nice and brown.

I baked this for about 30 minutes. 

Why yes, mine did get browner on one side then the other.  Thanks for noticing.  Next time I will turn it around half way through, as you should.  DO as I say, not as I do.

I served my baked brie with sliced baguette, crackers and apple slices.

How pretty is that?  It will definitely impress your family and friends, and there is a strong chance that they will never know how easy it was to do!

The cheese gets gooey and melty and delicious!  The cranberries and orange gives a yummy sweetness that is perfect with the cheese.

This is a showstopper, folks!  I hope you try it!

I will be back tomorrow with another two more quick recipes using my delicious ginger pear cranberry sauce.

Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

9 ounces Gourmet Rooster Ginger Pear Spread

In a medium sized pot, bring water and sugar to a boil.  Stir in cranberries.  Let this simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Cranberries will pop and thicken sauce.

After 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool.  Stir in Ginger Pear spread.  Keep refrigerated.

Cranberry Orange Baked Brie

Puff Pastry

3 tablespoons cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons orange marmalade                   

8 ounce brie round

2 tablespoons cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Let puff pastry thaw according to package directions.  Once thawed, place puff pastry sheet on baking sheet.  In the center of the puff pastry, add cranberry sauce and orange marmalade.  Place brie on top of sauce and marmalade.

Fold excess puff pastry up and around brie, cutting slits in pastry if needed.  Flip package over and place on baking sheet.  Brush top and sides with cream.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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