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Two Peas and Their Pod: Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

I never liked cranberry sauce when I was a kid. My dad used to buy the jellied cranberry sauce in the can because my brother requested it every year. I think I tried it once and was grossed out. We would always open the can and plop it onto a plate. It held the shape of the can-even the lines stayed in tact:) I am pretty sure it tasted like the can too. My brother was the only one that would even eat it.

When I got a little older I discovered fresh cranberries and was wowed by their flavor. For years I had been missing out on good cranberry sauce thanks to my brother's odd love for canned cranberry sauce. I am glad we now serve fresh cranberry sauce at our Thanksgiving feasts. (My dad still buys the jellied stuff for my brother though. I guess it is tradition...ha!).

Fresh cranberry sauce is so easy to make. I love watching the berries go pop, pop, pop in the pan:) I add orange zest and a squeeze of fresh orange juice to the cranberries. They compliment each other nicely. We like things a little tart so I don't add too much sugar, plus it is healthier:) Increase the sugar amount if you need to. It can be made a couple days in advance too, so there is no excuse to not serve the fresh stuff. It is easy and the best!

This is a great side to add to your table. It is great on leftover turkey sandwiches too. I also like to spread it on my whole wheat toast or add it to a brie panini. So many uses for this fabulous sauce! Enjoy!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

(Printable Recipe)

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of water
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Squeeze of fresh orange juice, from the zested orange

1. Wash and pick over the fresh cranberries. Set them aside.
2. Bring the water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add the cranberries to the pan. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes. You will hear the berries start to pop. This is the best part:)
4. Stir in the orange zest and fresh orange juice. Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature.
5. Chill in the refrigerator. The sauce can be made a few days ahead of time.

If you like this cranberry sauce, you might also like:

Morning After Cranberry Sauce Muffins from Serious Eats
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce from Closet Cooking
Apple Strudel with Cranberry Sauce from Baking Obsession
Cranberry and Horseradish Relish from A Good Appetite

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Blogger LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I've always loved cranberry sauce - it's my favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast! Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe!

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I've never made my own cranberry sauce. I've been a slave to the cranberry-jelly-stuff. But this just looks too good to pass up!

4:59 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

That's really beautiful Maria! I never was one for cranberry sauce either. My aunt used to slice it in circles and put it on a dish. ICK! My neighbor made a great cranberry relish last year and gave me some, it was so good!

5:07 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

I hear ya about the sauce of the past. :) My mom used to do the oddly shaped can stuff too. Now I love fresh cranberry sauce of any variety. This looks great!

6:09 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

My family is the same way - always with the canned stuff! This is my first year hosting though, so we will be having fresh cranberry sauce. :-)

6:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i used to love the jellied version--no cranberries for me. Now, I'm just the opposite :)

6:15 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

I have to admit it... I like the stuff in the can... and I have no idea why... it's so gross looking LOL

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Melissa @BakingfortheBoys said...

I grew up eating the canned version-and loved it. But then, I started to make the real much better.

Funny though, when I take it to my MIL's or Aunt's Thanksgiving dinner, I am the only one that will eat it!

6:22 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

My husband and boys love the canned stuff too. But I'm definitely going to make this in addition! The color is gorgeous!

6:24 AM  
Blogger kat said...

Yeah, we always had to buy the canned stuff for my grandmother but now my family will only eat cranberry/horseradish relish. The fresh makes such a difference

6:49 AM  
Blogger Smitten Sugar said...

Wow this looks so colorful! I have never been a cranberry fan...but I think its always been from the can. Makes me want to try this recipe out!

6:50 AM  
Blogger grace said...

i'm all about the cranberry-orange combination. this is a delightful sauce, maria!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love that combo! Both flavors blend perfectly well!



8:20 AM  
Anonymous katrina said...

Love your cranberry sauce! I've also sampled raw cranberry-orange relish, which was "interesting". We also have canned cranberry sauce lovers, and fans of the homemade, so , of course, we put out both.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

I LOVE CRANBERRY SAUCE! I have a super old school grinder that my aunt gave to me and I combine a bag of cranberries, 1 apple, 1 orange, walnuts, and something to sweeten it up! Josh is not a fan, but I may make some for myself this year :)

8:49 AM  
Blogger Cathy (Bread Experience) said...

Thanks Maria! My boyfriend was looking for this recipe the other day so he can bring it to my Thanksgiving spread. I'll send him the link.

My family loves the canned stuff as well but I never cared for it. I'm glad to have something else to serve this year.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never liked the canned stuff either. Fresh is the way to go. Looks delicious!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

I have to admit to liking the canned stuff BUT I am now in the homemade fresh cranberry sauce camp! I made it for the first time last year and loved it. No more canned for me.

Thanks for sharing your recipe.

10:10 AM  
Blogger NKP said...

I love cranberry sauce too, great how versatile it is to dress up.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Gorgeous! This sauce looks absolutely perfect. I can't wait for Thanksgiving.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Unplanned Cooking said...

Yum! I'm so excited for Thanksgiving -- my first time cooking! Can't wait to try all these wonderful flavors.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous soufflebombay said...

I am sooo with you on fresh cranberries and the coolness of the popping. Let's start a petition to ban the canned stuff lol!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Cranberry and orange is such a perfect combo. I never thought about it before but I do like seeing the berries pop! Also love Rice Krispies when I was kid so maybe there's connection...LOL!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Perfect timing, I was just going to look for a recipe I am making it this year too and I am using your recipe, thanks for sharing!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Aimée said...

Yum, I'd eat this with a spoon, Maria! Such a vibrant color on it too. Lovely.

3:51 PM  
Blogger teresa said...

oh my gosh i love this! homemade cranberry sauce is turning into my favorite part of thanksgiving!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Sook said...

I'm trying your cranberry sauce recipe! Thanks!

4:57 PM  
Blogger A_and_N said...

Love love the orange zest in it!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Cristie said...

I can't have Thanksgiving with out cranberry sauce, this one looks divine! Perfect for a sandwich afterwards as well. Yummy!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Monica H said...

I like cranberry sauce any which way- even jellied in the can :-)

7:06 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I was watching something on Food Network the other day - can't remember which show - but they did cranberries with orange and it sounded so good. And now here it is again - I think I really need to make this!

8:08 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Beautifully simple recipe!

8:54 PM  
Blogger The Cooking Photographer said...

You're right cranberry sauce is so easy. I make mine very much like yours. Your's is beautiful by the way. I love the vibrant colors and bit of textures.

I wonder if everyone makes their own?


9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is actually pretty similar to Alton Brown's cranberry turkey-dipping sauce. A tip for those who are interested--try substituting half the cranberries with frozen cherries. It really brightens up the flavor, and mutes the bitter undertones of the cranberry. I make this for the family every thanksgiving, and they love it so much that it's become tradition!


10:27 PM  
Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

It's funny how "tradition" gets us used to unquestioningly accepting some pretty nasty food. I like that you broke away from the canned sauce and made your own. It looks so pretty in the bowl. And adding it to brie in a panini? Wow!

7:29 AM  
Blogger La Bella Cooks said...

Fresh homemade cranberry sauce is the only way to go. Just look at the color, wow!

8:45 AM  
Blogger redmenace said...

This looks fantastic. I love the combo of orange and cranberries. There is nothing better!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Nicole (dishin') said...

This looks so good! Just like the sauce my grandmother makes...

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never made cranberry sauce, but yours looks great!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Live.Love.Eat said...

I tried this a couple of years ago for Thanksgiving and it did not go over well :( Who knows. But I'd eat this over canned any day!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Karine said...

I love my cranberry sauce with orange. Yours recipe sounds delicious :)

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yum... Cranberry sauce is one of my favorites! Yours looks absolutely beautiful!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Fresh cranberry sauce is the best.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just talking to my mom about bringing cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving .. and then I stumbled upon your recipe (via Healthy Yum). I am going to give your recipe a try this year! Thanks.

9:02 AM  
Blogger The Food Hunter said...

Funny, I was just telling a coworker this morning how I never ate cranberry sauce because we always had that nasty canned stuffed. Then I discovered real cranberries and a recipe similar to yours with the orange and some cloves. Now I love it. To think what I missed all those years.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Feast on the Cheap said...

YES! While I do love canned cranberry, I always make sure to have a bowl of fresh cranberry & orange zest on the table...

7:32 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

not going to lie, i'll always hold a special place in my heart for the canned stuff! but I need the fresh stuff at TG!!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Stacey Snacks said...

I make the same relish, but I use grated ginger in mine.
Everyone loves it, sweet and spicy.
Have a wonderful holiday!

6:56 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

This was so easy and delicious! I'll never buy canned cranberry sauce again.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Oldfangled said...

Thanks for this. It looks similar to another recipe I used a few years ago. It's soooo easy, why would anyone use canned? (: This is definitely the recipe I will use on Thursday!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Try popping a cinnamon stick in there while it's cooking. It adds a beautiful depth to the flavor.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Playfulkarenb said...

Yummy, thanks so much!

3:19 PM  

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