Forget that stuff from a can. Fresh cranberry sauce is much too easy to make. Better yet, make it a few days before your meal so that you have one thing checked off your list.
The role of cranberry sauce on a Thanksgiving table is acid. With all the starchy and sweet dishes a pop of acid is needed for balance. That’s why a bite of savory turkey and gravy with sweet and savory stuffing is so well-balanced by it.
I use frozen concentrated orange juice to give it a strong boost of orange flavor. If you don’t have concentrated orange juice, simmer 3/4 cup of orange juice for 15 minutes to reduce it to a thicker liquid. Then add the remaining ingredients to the same pot.
Spices – I use a cinnamon stick to give the sauce a little kick but other spices like star anise, ginger and cloves also add a wonderful balance to your meal.
Smooth Cranberry Sauce
If you have a texture snob in your house (like me) who wants everything smooth, puree the cooked cranberry sauce in the blender or with an immersion blender. This will bring it closer to the stuff in the can. Because there are ALWAYS some at the Thanksgiving table who insist on it.
How to use Lefover Cranberry Sauce
If you still have some left even after the rest of the leftovers are gone, there are so many delicious ways to re-purpose it. The sweet and tangy flavors of the sauce pair well with salty cheeses, sweet or savory crepes, pork chops and so much more. Here are a couple of ideas for using it.
- Warm brie with cranberry sauce
- Place a small bowl of it on a cheese board with sharp cheddar and crackers
- Gluten-Free Banana crepes with cranberry sauce
- Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes topped with cranberry sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup frozen concentrated orange juice just spoon it straight out of the can
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 c pecans or walnuts optional
- Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
- Leave it chunky or for smooth cranberry sauce, puree with an immersion blender, food processor or blender. If desired, stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Cool completely before serving.