Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I just found my missing favorite cranberry sauce recipe and want to share it with you in case you don’t have a recipe yet for Thanksgiving. I’ve got a lot to say about cranberries, surprise surprise, but I’ll save that for another time.

I first discovered this recipe in the December 1997 issue of Bon Appetit and have been relying on it ever since. It was published in their RSVP section by the request of a reader who enjoyed the sauce at 21 Federal on Nantucket. Bob Kinkead, one of my favorite chefs, was in charge of the 21 Federal kitchen before moving to Washington, DC. When I lived in the DC area, a long lunch at Kinkead’s was my special treat on a day off from work.

This recipe has all the New England flavors you would expect from me — maple, molasses and, of course, cranberries. You can make it ahead and pull it from the refrigerator a few hours before dinner to let it come to room temperature.

Nantucket cranberry sauce | Grabbing the Gusto

Nantucket cranberry sauce | Grabbing the Gusto

Nantucket Cranberry Sauce

You’ll need a medium heavy saucepan.

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounce package fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

Combine everything except the cranberries in a heavy saucepan and stir occasionally over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and add the cranberries. Simmer until the cranberries begin to burst, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high and boil until the mixture is reduced to about 1-3/4 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Serve at room temperature. The sauce can be prepared five days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

8 thoughts on “Nantucket Cranberry Sauce

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Yes it is. If you make it, come back and let me know how you liked it.

  1. Mary Nations says:

    Ok this is off the stove now, and it is quite yummy! I can’t wait to have it with smoked turkey tomorrow, and will hide some to put on cheesecake too! I used the last of the dark molasses in a jar, so since that didn’t get measured closely, I skipped the sugar. Perfect!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’m so glad you like it. I need to make more of that. I’m using up another recipe that’s good too (with candied ginger) but the one I posted is my favorite.

  2. Jess says:

    Oh my gosh… Thank you.

    I don’t like my recipe all that much, but I love cranberry sauce! The best part: I already have everything I need to make it!

    Can’t wait to try it! Thanks again. 🙂

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I hope you like this one. It’s different but I love it. All the flavors seem to belong together. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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