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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Roasted Maple Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Maple Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
Although my family has their preferred cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving table every year, I like slipping in a new one every now and again just to see how it's received. I always hear people raving about homemade and then following that sentiment saying that they wish they could make it. I immediately tell them that they can and that homemade cranberry sauce is actually THE EASIEST dish on the whole holiday table to make.

Seriously, it doesn't get easier than 5 to 8 minutes on the stovetop. But this batch takes it one step further and roasts the cranberries. The time commitment isn't much more, you just need to wait for the oven to preheat. And the coolest thing about it is that roasting actually concentrates the flavor of the tart cranberries by removing some of their natural water via the process of evaporation.

Once they've cooled off enough to handle, it's just a matter of stirring in a sweetener—because you do not want to eat them without it at risk of your face falling off from the amount of pucker that would be going on.
roasted cranberries and vanilla bean
The maple syrup adds a deep, rich sweetness, the vanilla smooths the whole thing out. Easy, delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to roast turkey, chicken, or pork.

Roasted Maple Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
Roasting the cranberries concentrates their flavor and adds a nice sour punch that is mellowed by vanilla beans and maple syrup in this holiday side dish.
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: roast side vegan soy-free dairy-free nut-free cranberries vanilla beans Christmas Thanksgiving American

Ingredients (1 3/4 cups)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • pinch of vanilla sea salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 450° F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cranberries with oil and vanilla sea salt and spread evenly on prepared baking sheet. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and nestle in between the berries. Roast for 15 minutes until berries have started to burst and release their juices.

Carefully and immediately scrape into a bowl, juices and all. Immediately stir in the maple syrup and water and let sit at room temperature for at least one hour to allow flavors to meld before serving. As soon as the vanilla beans are cool enough to handle, scrape the seeds from the halves of the pods and stir them into the sauce (the pods themselves can be discarded).

These can be made up to 5 days in advance by refrigerating the cooled sauce in a lidded container. It is good served cold, at room temperature, or even warm (my favorite).

If you don't have a whole vanilla bean, you can stir 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract into the berries when you add the maple syrup.
Roasted Maple Vanilla Cranberry Sauce at the Thanksgiving table

more cranberry sauce recipes:
Cranberry Port Ring
Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Cloves
Spiced Red Wine Cranberry Sauce aka the BEST (and EASIEST) Cranberry Sauce. Like, ever.