Sides

Easy Cranberry Sauce

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Now that Halloween is over I’ve really been looking forward to all of the holiday recipes that the upcoming season has to offer. No matter what you celebrate, there is usually some amazing food involved! In our house we celebrate Thanksgiving and take Christmas pretty seriously; don’t tell anyone, but the tree goes up long before turkey day. My favorite part of both holidays is all of the food everyone prepares and enjoys.

I had a lot of fun with finding the perfect cranberry sauce recipe for this Thanksgiving. Luckily the one I’m sharing with you today is easy to prepare in twenty minutes and can be prepared a week ahead of time. My favorite part is that it only has five ingredients. Fresh and simple always seems to be best.

Start by gathering the ingredients, and rinsing/picking out any bad cranberries. You can also buy these frozen, but they will have to be thawed out prior to cooking. Most grocery stores sell them fresh in a 12 oz package. I recommend using equal parts granulated and brown sugar for the best flavor.

In a small or medium saucepan, add together the sugars, orange juice, and water over medium heat on the stovetop. Stir frequently until the sugars are absorbed and the mixture starts to boil. This will only take about five minutes or so.

Reduce the heat slightly to a medium-low, and add in the cranberries. Stir them occasionally while folding the berries from the bottom of the saucepan to the top. You will hear the occasional pop as the cranberries heat up and burst, releasing pectin which acts as a natural thickening agent. Continue to stir and watch the heat, the mixture may start to boil up before it reduces in stature. If this happens, remove from the heat for about 15 seconds at a time and continue to stir before returning to the heat to finish bursting the cranberries.

After about 15-20 minutes, the cranberries should all be in a gelatin-form and the cranberry sauce is generally ready to be cooled before serving. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the cranberry sauce into a serving bowl. Cool for twenty minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator. The cranberry sauce should chill in the fridge for two hours, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Serve cranberry sauce as a side for a holiday meal, or anytime you want to enjoy it with a shredded turkey sandwich. My fiancé loves it straight up or over crackers as well. Let me know how it turns out or feel free to share your favorite cranberry sauce recipes with me!

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2/3 cup orange juice

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries

Directions

  • Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, and orange juice in a small to medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and bring to a boil.
  • Once mixture is boiling, add cranberries and reduce to a medium-low heat.
  • Simmer and cook cranberries, stirring and folding over the next 10-15 minutes until all or most berries have burst and the mixture is slightly reduced. Allow to cook a few extra minutes for thicker cranberry sauce.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate two hours before serving, or for up to one week if in an airtight container.

Notes

  • Add a little orange zest for extra color and flavor, or a bit of vanilla or nutmeg to change up the recipe.
  • This recipe can be frozen for up to three months in advance.
  • Rinse and pick out any mushed cranberries before boiling in the sugar mixture.

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