Massachusetts cranberry growers share their favorite family recipes in the spirit of the holiday season.
Photography by Michelle McGrath PR
As Massachusetts cranberry growers wrap up their 2020 harvest season and look forward to the holidays that lie ahead, a few local grower families (represented by Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association) have shared treasured family recipes that showcase the local harvest.
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
6 cups of fresh cranberries
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1½ cups apple cider or juice (cranberry, orange, etc.)
3 small oranges or clementines, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
Combine cranberries, sugars and juice in a heavy, large stock pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the cranberry skins begin to burst. Stir in clementines or oranges and lemon juice, continue to simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, and stir in maple syrup, cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Stir in nuts if desired and refrigerate in a tightly sealed container until ready to serve, up to 5 days.
“I know it's only sauce. But I am always surprised at how many people have never cooked it before. Home cooks should feel free to fiddle around with this flexible recipe. I sometimes add the halved lemons that I have previously squeezed and frozen. After boiling, I remove the rinds before serving, but the infused flavor is worth the addition.”
~ Mary McCaffery, Spring Rain Farm of East Taunton
½ gallon cranberry juice
5-6 cups apple cider or juice
¼-⅔ cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon nutmeg
20 whole cloves
1-2 medium oranges, sliced, for garnish
Whole fresh cranberries, optional, for garnish
In a large stock pot, combine cranberry juice, apple juice or cider, sugar and cinnamon sticks. Place remaining spices in cheesecloth or a spice ball and submerge in the juice mixture. Heat to boiling over medium heat, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Transfer carefully to a heat proof bowl, pitcher or punch bowl, garnish with floating sliced oranges and whole cranberries. Scoop into mugs or glasses to serve.
“I’m sharing my mother Nina (Natalie) Atwood’s recipes. They originated initially from my grandmother, preserving them for our multi-generation grower family. My mother and I both have often typed our favorite recipes on old-school typewriters, a treasured method of documenting these holiday season star dishes.”
~ Susan Gilmore, Gilmore Cranberry Co., Carver