You’re already aware that my Thanksgiving green beans come from a can. The irony of this situation is that my cranberry sauce – something that most people would prefer to just use from a can – is completely made from scratch.
Making cranberry sauce is more of a technique than a recipe. Basically, you cook down fresh fruit with sugar and liquid until it breaks down and becomes gelatinous, much like you’d do for a jam. I say that like I’ve made jams before.
This condiment – my favorite of the holiday season – goes great with turkey or ham. It’s sweet, tart and is the perfect topping for a leftover ham or turkey sandwich. And, I promise it’s more flavorful than anything you could dump out of a can and slice into perfectly round circles. It’s incredibly easy to make, and is a perfect dish to make 2 or 3 days ahead of time, before you get super stressed out trying to bring everything together for a big meal. This recipe holds up great in the fridge for up to a week – maybe longer, but it hasn’t ever lasted that long in my fridge.
Wash 1 bag fresh cranberries, and place into a medium nonstick saucepan. Add the following:
anywhere from 2/3 to 1 cup plain sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
about a tablespoon of brown sugar
a tablespoon of water
1 cinnamon stick (whole – you’ll fish it out later)
2 tablespoons grand marnier or cointreau or any orange flavored liqueur (optional)
the zest of one orange
the juice of half of that orange
Stir, and heat over medium-high heat until the cranberries start to break down and the mixture becomes gelatinous, somewhere between 20-35 minutes. Stir frequently and taste to make sure you have the sugar/tart balance where you want it.
Transfer to an airtight container, remove & discard the cinnamon stick, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!