I was not a fan of cranberry sauce when I was young. Growing up, on our holiday table we’d usually have the jellied cranberry sauce that came from a can — you know, that popular unappetizing red blob. No thank you. I was happy with all the other foods on the table except for that one. But as the years went on, the can was no more and my mom experimented with cranberry sauce recipes. Unfortunately, I had no intention of trying any of them after experiencing that red blob for so many years.
Then I got married and my husband is a huge cranberry sauce guy. He prefers the whole berry cranberry sauce, and is used to the canned variety. Okay, not as bad as the jellied version, but still not anything I’d eat. So the can of whole berry cranberry sauce was part of our Thanksgiving table for quite a few years, and he was the only one who ate it, until I realized I should try making my own. Somewhere, somehow, I came across the recipe below and made it for my husband. He loved it! Yahoo! Success!
The best part? While making it I tasted it, as you do, and all of a sudden I was a fan of cranberry sauce. Crazy! All those years of having turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and all those other typical Thanksgiving foods, yet never with cranberry sauce. The first time I added a nice big scoop of this orange cranberry sauce, well, there was no going back. It’s on my menu every Thanksgiving, and one of the foods I most look forward to.
My Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete now if I don’t have this sweet and tangy sauce on my plate. And the leftovers…. oh my, even better!
Orange Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups sugar
4 cups cranberries (rinsed; bad ones discarded)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
In large saucepan over medium heat, combine ingredients. Cover. Bring to a boil.
Remove cover and lower heat.
Simmer on low, stirring often, until cranberries burst and it thickens. This may take an hour or more.*
Remove from heat.
Cool and chill before serving. Or, serve warm (I prefer it warm).
*Note: My mom says her cranberry sauce never cooks for an hour and thinks this is ridiculous. Okay, maybe she didn’t say ridiculous, but that’s what she meant. I say give it a try … cook it for an hour, slowly, over low heat, stirring often, and you will have a delicious cranberry sauce that is worth an hour of your time.
cranberries washed and ready
the zest from one orange was the perfect amount
liquids and zest, waiting for the cranberries
cranberries added to liquid
during the early stages of the cooking process
rather than keeping the lid completely off, I prefer to leave it like this
now I just need the turkey and sides!