Dinner / Sauces & Dressings / Side Dishes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 5-7 minutes
Wait time: 30 minutes
Post cook time: 2 minutes

Homemade cranberry sauce may very well be the single easiest thing I make for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. I started making this about 13 years ago, and time after time after time, it is requested for holidays.

Always offer to bring your special homemade cranberry sauce, and people will be impressed with the taste of your wonderful holiday offering. Plus, you can make this several days in advance!

You can vary this recipe to taste! Trade the orange for lemon. Cut down the sugar or add more. Add a splash of whiskey or rum. Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg – or both! My favorite additions to this sauce have been a handful of ripe blueberries, raspberries – or both!

Double duty tip: Save the sweetened cranberry-orange liquid to flavor your holiday drinks.

16 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/2-1 cup sugar (I think 2/3 cup is just right, not too tart, not too sweet)
1/2 cup water
Juice from one orange or 3-4 tangerines (to make about 1/2 cup liquid)
1 tsp orange zest
Pinch of salt

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and stir over high heat. When the water begins to boil, lower heat to medium-high. In just a few minutes, the cranberries will begin to pop and crack. When most of the cranberries have split, remove the pot from the heat. Cover and set aside, allow to cool for 30 minutes.

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Pour off but reserve excess liquid. Use a potato masher to mash cranberries if you desire a chunky sauce, or purée in a food processor or blender for a smooth sauce. Slowly add liquid back in as you blend, until you’ve reached the desired consistency. I find that I only need 2-4 tablespoons of liquid.

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Happy Holidays from CPM!

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