Just a warning…. Cassis is NOT wine. It’s a black-currant flavored liqueur you can find at the liquor store, labeled “Creme Decassis”. It’s lovely when added to a Chardonnay to create a drink called “Kir” and especially tasty when added to a sparkling wine, creating a pink concoction called a “Kir Royale”.
I was searching for a new cranberry sauce recipe to use for our Christmas dinner. I’ve been using the same recipe for years now and wanted to find a cooked sauce recipe that would be easier to use for sandwiches and such after the holiday when I came across one on epicurious that called for Cassis. Since I happened to have a bottle in the fridge, I thought this was worth a try.
Their recipe calls for the following ingredients: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup + 2T creme decassis, 1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries, 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 T ketchup.
For my version, I adjusted the dried cranberries down to 3/4 cup craisins and added 5 diced dried figs. I also added 1T orange juice and 1/2T lemon juice. It seemed to need a little citrus flavor but not an entire piece of fruit. These two juices did the trick.
I actually followed their directions – since I’d never made this before, I wasn’t comfortable straying too far from the written word this first time out of the gate. They read as follows: Bring 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup cassis to boil in heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add fresh cranberries (ok… I’ll admit that mine were frozen, but it hardly mattered); return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until cranberries pop and sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in dried cranberries, ketchup and 2T cassis. Note: This is where I also added the dried figs, orange juice and lemon juice. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
Since we’re a week away from Christmas, I’ll most likely use this sauce for sandwiches and the like and make another batch on Friday. Maybe by then I’ll have come up with some way to incorporate wine into the recipe, but until then… buy a bottle of Creme Decassis, make a few drinks (it’s delish with champagne) and try this recipe.
May your holidays be warm and bright… and spiked with wines in some tasty new ways!