Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pear, Brandy and Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Serves 6-8 small servings
Recipe from
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This is not the usual cranberry and orange relish.  The pears with the dark brown sugar add a fall-inspired sweetness; the brandy provides richness, and the walnuts, a toasty crunch.
The pears, which are shredded, melt into the sauce. The cranberries soften and soak up the brown sugar and cinnamon. Serve it along side the holiday bird, or on an after-Thanksgiving sandwich.  We all agreed that this sauce would taste fabulous over ricotta cheese or vanilla ice cream.
Feel free to play with the brandy to make the sauce as boozy (or not) as you want.

1/3 cup, plus 2-3 Tablespoon brandy, divided
2 cinnamon sticks, each broken in half
8 black peppercorns
12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 medium pears or apples, peeled
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted and divided (optional)

Pour 1/3 cup brandy into liquid measuring cup; add enough water to reach ½ cup liquid total. Set aside. Place broken cinnamon sticks and peppercorns in center of small piece of cheesecloth or large tea bag (I used a coffee filter) and tie closed using kitchen twine.
All the ingredients ready to cook.  Notice the coffee filter, which houses the cinnamon sticks and peppercorns.
In medium saucepot, combine cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon-pepper bundle. Using large holes on a box grater, grate pears into saucepot. Stir in brandy-water mixture.
Over high heat, bring cranberry mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook 10-12 minutes, or until cranberries have burst and the mixture has combined, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Stir in 2 to 3 Tablespoons brandy. Let cool. Remove and discard cinnamon bundle. Stir in 7 Tablespoons toasted walnuts. Transfer mixture to small serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
Just a few ingredients make up this delicious sauce which can be used for the holidays as a side or as a dessert.

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