November 27, 2011 by Flora Dawn
I am posting this recipe with full knowledge that most people will simply purchase a can of cranberry sauce when they need it. Especially this time of year, when you are likely to score a sale brand for under a dollar.
However, making homemade cranberry sauce is super easy and tastes much fresher than the canned variety. You can also jazz it up a bit, adding dried fruits, nuts, citrus peel, etc to make a sauce much more extraordinary than anything you can find on the store shelves. And if you live someplace (like here in Oregon) where there are cranberry bogs, you’ll be able to get super fresh cranberries and support the local farmers as well.
So, after many, many attempts at the perfect cranberry sauce, this is my version of it. It’s slightly tart, slightly sweet, and chock full of fruit. I have discovered, that while you want the sauce to taste of cranberries, adding dried fruits, like raisins and cherries, really provides that something special. Not only is it slightly sweeter, but the texture is improved as well. And whatever you do, don’t forget the citrus. I think both the juice and the peel really add the perfect amount of flavor, but if you don’t have an organic orange I would just use the juice.
And although cranberry sauce is typically served with turkey, I think it makes a nice side with pork as well. And if you really like cranberries, I have to be honest, it’s pretty tasty spread on a sandwich or eaten by the spoonful.
This makes about 4 cups.
- 1 (12 ounce) package of fresh cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup cherry juice (cranberry or apple juice would work well too)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- the zest from 1 orange
- In a medium saucepan, cook the cranberries, sugar and juices over medium heat, stirring often, until the cranberries begin to pop, about 15 minutes.
- Add the raisins, cherries, and orange zest and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. It will thicken quite a bit as it cools, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t appear thick enough. Cool and refrigerate covered until serving. *It’s a great make ahead recipe, as it stays nicely for several days in the fridge.