I am just going to come right out with it: that cranberry sauce in a can is…well…it’s kinda yucky. Homemade is infinitely better. It’s incredibly vibrant and flavorful, sweet and tangy and has more texture than the canned, which is somewhat gelatinous. Just a little bit on your fork with some turkey and stuffing is quite the taste sensation. And you can make it a day or two ahead!
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Simple, simple, simple: fresh cranberries, light brown sugar, orange juice and zest. If you want to make it a bit fancier you can add apples and a hint of freshly ground nutmeg. Cranberry sauce is one of those holiday recipes you will be really glad you took the five minutes to make from scratch! Fresh is always best in my humble opinion.
How To Zest Citrus:
To zest citrus I use a microplane (amazon affiliate link). Simply scrape the skin of an orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit until the white underneath begins to show, then move to another area. You don’t want to go too deep because the white is bitter, but the outer surface is full of heavenly smelling essential oils that add fabulous orange flavor to your sauce!
This gorgeous cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment for Dry Brined Herb Turkey and Apple and Sausage Stuffing. I don’t know about you, but I am super excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner!
The Recipes: Homemade Cranberry Sauce~Two Ways
You can keep this cranberry sauce simple using only three ingredients or add apples and nutmeg for a little variation.
- 3 Cups fresh cranberries
- Juice and zest of 3 oranges
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 large apple, peeled and diced
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg optional
Use a microplane to zest oranges, scraping just until the white is exposed then move to a new spot. Squeeze juice from oranges (should be about 1 cup of juice).
Place juice, zest, sugar (apple if using) and cranberries into a pan and bring to a simmer.
When cranberries begin to 'pop' add nutmeg (optional).
Simmer just a couple more minutes then turn off heat.
Sauce will thicken even more after it cools.
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