Thanksgiving is a holiday for family and friends and delicious traditional food. And it's probably the first time in the season that most people break out the cranberries. If you grew up with the canned jellied cranberry sauce, you probably love it but you probably also don't use it for anything other than the main Thanksgiving meal and maybe on some leftovers and sandwiches the next day.
But if you're a fan of the chunkier sauces, filled with actual cranberries, then homemade is the right choice for you. And the great news is that it's remarkably easy to make homemade, from scratch, cranberry sauce. Not only that but it's simple to customize it with more or less sugar, some extra citrus flavor (lemon zest is amazing in this recipe) and some warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
Even greater news is that this sauce has way more uses than just the typical holiday table accompaniment to the turkey and stuffing. It's as versatile as any chutney or fruit preserves would be. So, by all means use it as a sandwich topper but also use it in desserts and as an ice cream topping. And definitely swirl it into yogurt for breakfast. But don't stop there where the yogurt is concerned. Strained yogurt becomes soft labneh cheese that, coupled with the cranberry sauce, makes an amazing dip for your holiday company.
- For the Labneh:
- 2 cups plain, full fat, Greek style yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the Cranberry Sauce:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Gather the ingredients.
To make the labneh, stir together the Greek style yogurt and salt until thoroughly combined.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and add the yogurt mixture. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and squeeze gently.
Place the strainer over a bowl but make sure the bottom of the strainer does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Leave sitting on the counter for one hour, draining off the liquid a few times. You can also do this in the refrigerator if the temperature is very hot but it will take a little longer. At the end of the hour, you'll have a soft batch of labneh.
To make the cranberry sauce, add the cranberries, sugar, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom and salt to a heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil, stir well and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped. Remove from the heat and let cool before serving.
Spoon the labneh onto a plate or large bowl and swirl the cooled cranberry sauce into it. Serve with crackers as an appetizer with cocktails.