Passover approaches, and you may find yourself with an open bottle of Manischewitz Concord Grape Kosher Wine that needs to be consumed. You could, of course, drink it up, but that’s not all you can do with it.
Cranberries and Manischewitz wine are a match made in heaven. The wine lends the finished sauce a mysterious flavor that’s hard to identify but very alluring, and all that fortified sugar goes to sweeten the cranberries. I owe my friend Nina for this one; she tells me that all glory goes to her mother, Helen, for “this good way to get rid of that hideous Manischewitz.” I emailed Nina in a panic one Thanksgiving, and she saved me with this recipe; Nina may not like Manischewitz, but she has some in her pantry for this. It’s fast, it’s delicious, and it’s just a bit different from standard cranberry sauce, enough of a difference that people will ask you for the recipe, too.
My oldest daughter loves cranberries (they’re her favorite fruit), so I stock our freezer with enough to last us through the non-Thanksgiving months, and I buy a bottle of Manischewitz when it’s on sale for Pesach to go with all those cranberries.
Here’s all you need:
- Cranberries, fresh or frozen, washed and sorted to remove any nasty ones.
- Marmalade or jam, your choice of brand and flavor. We like classic orange marmalade, but raspberry jam is lovely, too.
- Manischewitz Kosher Wine, preferably concord grape but you can use the blackberry or any other fruity flavor you’ve got on hand. Mogen David wine will work, too.
Put the cranberries into a pan and pour in enough wine to wet everything, about 1/2″ deep. Add a good blop of marmalade – For 12 ounces of cranberries, I add about 9 ounces of marmalade to get a tart-sweet finished sauce that works well as a chutney; you’ll want more jam if you’re looking for dessert level sweetness. It’s best to go easy on the jam now, adjusting for sweetness after everything has cooked down a bit.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and let it all simmer until the cranberries have burst and everything has thickened up. Stir frequently, adding more wine if necessary to maintain the consistency you like. Add more jam if desired; If you’ll be serving the sauce at room temperature, let a spoonful cool before you taste it – Sweetness comes through differently when everything has cooled.
That’s all there is to it. This is kid-safe, as the alcohol boils off during cooking. It’s great on sandwiches, next to brisket, packed in a school or work lunch during cold and flu season, and, of course, as a traditional side dish for a turkey dinner.
Even if you don’t love cranberries as much as my family, save that bottle of Manischewitz leftover from your seder this year, and stash it in a cool, dark corner of your pantry. You’ll be all set for delicious cranberry sauce come Thanksgiving.