MAKES ONE 9-INCH PIE

Use sweet, crisp apples, such as Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, or Braeburn. The two fillings can be made ahead, cooled, and stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
For an apple-cranberry pie recipe with a crisp crust and balanced flavors, we precooked the cranberries so they wouldn’t shed a lot of liquid during baking. Then we arranged the cooked cranberries and apples in two distinct layers, allowing the flavor of each to come through clearly in our apple-cranberry pie recipe.

You might need to buy:
  • fresh or frozen cranberries
  • orange juice
  • ground cinnamon
  • table salt
  • water
  • cornstarch

Serves 10

We suggest French’s French Fried Onions and Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth for this recipe. Fresh green beans are essential—frozen beans will turn to mush in the slow cooker.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
For our Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole recipe, we tested frozen beans, fresh raw beans, and blanched fresh beans, and were happy to learn that fresh beans held up well in the slow cooker. We didn’t even bother with the canned stuff. Sautéing the mushrooms before adding them to the slow cooker prevented them from turning slimy. It also gave us the idea to build the whole sauce in the skillet to reduce it and concentrate its flavor. Ground-up fried onions bound our sauce and also added more onion flavor than merely sprinkling them on top.

You might need to buy:
  • CASSEROLE:
  • unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • dried thyme
  • all-purpose flour
  • heavy cream
  • TOPPING:

Makes about 2 cups

Fresh and frozen cranberries work equally well. If you are using frozen, add one to two minutes to the cooking time. Slightly sweet apples such as Golden Delicious or Gala work best for this recipe. Shred the apple on the large holes of a box grater.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
The standard back-of-the-bag recipe for Apple-Raisin Cranberry Sauce was a little soupy. Cranberries contain a lot of water, and cutting down on the additional liquid yielded the ideal consistency. We replaced the water with apple cider and added fresh apple for a unique spin on traditional cranberry sauce. We found frozen cranberries worked equally well as fresh, but we needed to increase the cooking time slightly. Leaving our Basic Cranberry Sauce on the stove for too long left us with a mushy red mash, so it was important to keep a close eye on it as it cooked.

You might need to buy:
  • apple cider
  • packed light brown sugar
  • golden raisins
  • ground cinnamon
  • salt

Makes about 2 cups

Fresh and frozen cranberries work equally well. If you are using frozen, add one to two minutes to the cooking time.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
The standard back-of-the-bag recipe for cranberry sauce came out a little soupy. Cranberries contain a lot of water, and cutting down on the additional liquid yielded the ideal consistency. We found frozen cranberries worked equally as well as fresh, but we needed to increase the cooking time slightly. Leaving our Basic Cranberry Sauce on the stove for too long left us with a mushy red mash, so it was important to keep a close eye on the sauce as it cooked.

You might need to buy:
  • water
  • granulated sugar
  • salt

Makes about 1 cup

Fresh and frozen cranberries work equally well. If you are using frozen, add one to two minutes to the cooking time.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
With a little doctoring, we turned our recipe for Basic Cranberry Sauce into a versatile Cranberry Vinaigrette. The standard back-of-the-bag cranberry sauce recipe was a little soupy. Cranberries contain a lot of water, and cutting down on the additional liquid yields the ideal consistency. We found frozen cranberries worked equally well as fresh, but we needed to increase the cooking time slightly. Leaving the cranberry sauce for our Cranberry Vinaigrette Sauce on the stove for too long left us with a mushy red mash, so it was important to keep a close eye on it as it cooked.

You might need to buy:
  • minced shallot
  • Dijon mustard
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil

Makes about 2 cups

Fresh and frozen cranberries work equally well. If you are using frozen, add one to two minutes to the cooking time. Be sure to use real maple syrup, not the maple-flavored stuff. See below for our tips for easy citrus segmenting.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
The standard back-of-the-bag recipe for Orange-Maple Cranberry Sauce was a little soupy. Cranberries contain a lot of water, and cutting down on the additional liquid yielded the ideal consistency. We found frozen cranberries worked equally well as fresh, but we needed to increase the cooking time slightly. Leaving our Basic Cranberry Sauce on the stove for too long left us with a mushy red mash, so it was important to keep a close eye on it as it cooked.

You might need to buy:
  • orange juice
  • maple syrup
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt

Makes about 2 cups

Fresh and frozen cranberries work equally well. If you are using frozen, add one to two minutes to the cooking time. Ginger ale can be substituted for the ginger beer, though the ginger flavor will be less pronounced

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
The standard back-of-the-bag recipe for cranberry sauce was a little soupy. Cranberries contain a lot of water, and cutting down on the additional liquid yielded the ideal consistency. Replacing the water with ginger beer and adding grated fresh ginger added a unique flavor to our Pear-Ginger Cranberry Sauce. Shredded pear added sweetness. We found frozen cranberries worked equally well as fresh, but we needed to increase the cooking time slightly. Leaving our Pear-Ginger Cranberry Sauce on the stove for too long left us with a mushy red mash, so it was important to keep a close eye on it as it cooked.

You might need to buy:
  • ginger beer
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • grated fresh ginger

Makes about 2 cups

Fresh and frozen cranberries and raspberries work equally well. If you are using frozen, add one to two minutes to the cooking time. Sprite and 7UP are both good soda choices here. Don’t use diet soda.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
The standard back-of-the-bag recipe for cranberry sauce was a little soupy. Cranberries contain a lot of water, and cutting down on the additional liquid yielded the ideal consistency. Sprite and 7UP were both good soda choices to replace the water in this recipe, as long as we didn’t use the diet varieties. We found frozen cranberries worked equally well as fresh, but we needed to increase the cooking time slightly. Leaving our Raspberry-Lemon Cranberry Sauce on the stove for too long left us with a mushy red mash, so it was important to keep a close eye on it as it cooked.

You might need to buy:
  • lemon-lime soda
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • fresh or frozen raspberries
  • grated lemon zest

Makes about 6 cups

This recipe makes enough gravy to accompany a 12- to 14-pound turkey with leftovers. If you are roasting a very large bird and want to double the recipe, prepare the gravy in a Dutch oven. White wine adds a welcome note of acidity to gravy, but in a pinch you can use more chicken broth in its place. Make sure you’ve added 1 cup each of chopped onions, carrots, and celery along with fresh thyme sprigs and 1 cup of water to the roasting pan before the turkey goes into the oven.

You might need to buy:
  • vegetable oil
  • Reserved turkey giblets and neck
  • low-sodium chicken broth
  • water
  • fresh thyme
  • parsley stems
  • unsalted butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • dry white wine

Serves 10 to 12

Table salt is not recommended for this recipe because it is too fine. To roast a kosher or self-basting turkey (such as a frozen Butterball), do not salt it in step 1. Look for salt pork that is roughly equal parts fat and lean meat. The bread can be toasted up to 1 day in advance.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
Perfecting one aspect of a roast turkey usually comes at the cost of another. Crisp skin means dry white meat. Brining adds moisture, but can turn the skin soggy. And stuffing the cavity -compounds the headache, slowing the roasting time and upping the chance for uneven cooking. We wanted a turkey with everything: juicy meat, crisply burnished skin, and rich-flavored stuffing that cooked inside the bird.

Unwilling to sacrifice crisp skin, we opted for salting over brining. Salting initially draws moisture out of the meat, but after a long rest in the refrigerator, all the moisture gets slowly drawn back in, seasoning the meat and helping it retain moisture. Next we turned to slow roasting and started the bird in a relatively low oven, then cranked the temperature to give it a final blast of skin-crisping heat and to bring the center up to temperature. It worked beautifully, yielding breast meat that was moist and tender. For even crispier skin, we massaged it with a baking powder and salt rub. The baking powder dehydrates the skin and raises its pH, making it more conducive to browning. We also poked holes in the skin to help rendering fat escape.

Next we had to figure out a way to coordinate the cooking times of the stuffing and the breast meat. In most recipes, the breast meat is a bone-dry 180 degrees by the time the stuffing reaches a safe 165 degrees. We got around this by splitting the stuffing in half. We put half in the turkey and took it out when the bird was up to temperature. We moistened the stuffing with broth and combined it with the uncooked batch and cooked it all while the turkey was taking its post-oven rest. And for extra flavor, we draped the bird with meaty salt pork, which we removed and drained before cranking up the heat so the bird didn’t taste too smoky.

You might need to buy:
  • Turkey:
  • baking powder
  • Stuffing:
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • minced fresh thyme leaves
  • minced fresh marjoram leaves
  • minced fresh sage leaves
  • low-sodium chicken broth
  • large eggs