The basic recipe on the back of the cranberry bag is easy, but with just a little extra effort, you can create a really special sauce that exudes both tartness and sweetness. This recipe, from the family of Times Food Editor Russ Parsons, has become a Thanksgiving favorite, and it’s simple. Just be sure to leave enough time before serving for the flavors to settle--about three days is ideal, though we’ve made it the day before and it turned out well. Also, be careful not to overcook the cranberries; they should pop when you bite.
Mom Parsons' cranberries
Bring sugar, water, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks to boil in 4-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring, until syrup is clear, about 3 minutes. Add cranberries and cook just until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add grated orange zest and cool. Refrigerate 1 to 3 days before serving. Remove cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks before serving.