Well, the holiday season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. Sky and I have been super busy in the kitchen the past couple of days preparing everything that we will be showcasing on our Thanksgiving table and we wanted to share with all of you some of our recipes that appear on our menu every year, like the one we are bringing to you today, our Cranberry Sauce. Cranberry Sauce is highly underrated in my opinion. Oftentimes, you see it sitting, lonely, in a bowl on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table, but not many people reach for it to fill their bellies. I want to believe that this is because your guests generally have SO MANY other options at these meals, rather than thinking it’s some grotesque sauce that is unworthy of consuming. The reason I want to believe the former, is because the Cranberry Sauce I am about to share with you is absolutely delicious! It has the perfect balance of sweetness, citrus flavor, and spice, and literally tastes like you are biting into the holidays. It’s also super simple to whip up, which is such an added bonus!
To make this sauce, you will need fresh cranberries (if you’d prefer some extra texture in your sauce, reserve about 1/2 cup of these fresh cranberries to add in after your sauce is done cooking), water, freshly squeezed orange juice, brown sugar, a cinnamon stick, and vanilla extract. You can also add in a little orange zest when it’s finished cooking if you prefer extra citrus flavor. If you plan on adding orange zest, I would just suggest that you zest your orange before juicing it, as it is much easier to zest a whole orange.
To prepare, begin by combining your cranberries (or remaining cranberries, if you’re reserving ½ cup), water, orange juice, and brown sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally as your mixture comes to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce your heat to medium-low. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring periodically, until the liquid has reduced and your cranberries have burst and thickened, producing a beautiful, rich, cranberry color.
Turn the heat off on your stove. Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Stir in your vanilla extract. If you’re using orange zest or extra fresh cranberries, stir these in now as well. Your sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
This Cranberry Sauce is excellent served warm or at room temperature. Your leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
A perfectly sweetened Cranberry Sauce with a balance of citrus flavor and a hint of cinnamon! This is a super simple recipe that is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering!
1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries, rinsed *
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 large orange)
¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
*½ cup fresh cranberries, reserve to be stirred in for extra texture when sauce is finished cooking
- Read before beginning: If using optional orange zest, zest orange first before juicing it, as it is much easier to zest a whole orange that has not been squeezed.
- Also, for extra texture, reserve about ½ cup fresh cranberries; set aside to be stirred in when sauce is finished cooking.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries (or remaining cranberries, if reserving ½ cup), water, orange juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick together. Stir occasionally as the mixture comes to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring periodically, until liquid has reduced and cranberries have burst and thickened.
- Turn heat off. Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Stir in vanilla extract. If using orange zest or extra fresh cranberries, stir these in now as well. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Sauce is excellent served warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.