As the holiday season approaches, it’s the perfect time to savor the delightful flavors that define this time of year. Amidst the cozy gatherings and hearty feasts, there’s one dish that effortlessly captures the essence of the season: homemade cranberry sauce. However, this isn’t just any cranberry sauce; this recipe is infused with the vibrant zest of oranges, adding a refreshing twist to the classic dish.
The Perfect Harmony of Flavors
Cranberry sauce, an iconic addition to the festive table, perfectly balances the tangy, tart essence of fresh cranberries with just the right amount of sweetness. In this recipe, the addition of fresh orange juice and zest not only complements the cranberries but also elevates the sauce to a whole new level.
Beyond the Traditional
This citrus-infused cranberry sauce isn’t just for the holiday table. Its versatility extends far beyond merely accompanying turkey. Try it as a topping for desserts like cheesecake or ice cream or as a sweet twist in your morning yogurt or oatmeal.
Easy Elegance for All Cooks
One of the best features of this cranberry sauce is its simplicity. This recipe welcomes cooks of all experience levels to create a truly impressive side dish. With straightforward instructions and common kitchen ingredients, it’s an opportunity for novice chefs to create something extraordinary and for seasoned cooks to explore the nuances of flavor combinations.
Make Ahead and Enjoy
One of the beauties of this recipe is its make-ahead potential. Prepare it a day or two in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve. The flavors meld together beautifully, intensifying the citrus undertones.
Orange Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup grandulated sugar Or to taste
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- zest of one orange
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick or dash of ground cinnamon Optional, but highly recommended!
- Rinse the cranberries under cold water and remove any stems or debris. Set them aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, water, and cinnamon stick (if using).
- Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes. The cranberries will burst and the sauce will thicken.
- If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can use the back of a spoon or a potato masher to crush the cranberries further. Remove the cinnamon stick if used.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar if desired. Remember, the sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to a serving bowl or airtight container. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- If you prefer your cranberry sauce chilled, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.