Cranberry Sauce

By Ernest Lee
Date posted: 11/23/2016
A spoonful of cranberry sauce.
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Growing up, I used to love eating cranberry sauce. Every time Thanksgiving came around, I couldn't wait to feast on this beautiful, cylindrical, magenta blob that was scooped out of a can and sliced into circular chunks. Since then, my tastes have adapted and I prefer something a little bit more natural looking. To me, cranberry sauce is still a key piece in a Thanksgiving meal, and I still look forward to eating this tangy sweet treat.

This cranberry sauce recipe is far from its canned cousin. It uses fresh cranberries which are cooked into a sauce with sugar and water. The sauce is then strained through a fine mesh strainer to remove the skins, which creates a nice smooth sauce. Removing the skins also keeps the sauce from having a somewhat bitter taste. To add some body and texture back into the sauce, diced apples and slices of Mandarin oranges are mixed in. The orange slices also lend the sauce some nice citrus notes. Finally, ground cinnamon is mixed in to give it that nice spice flavored aroma! The result is a flavorful compote that you can smother all over your turkey, or everything else for that matter! Long live cranberry sauce!

Category/Keywords

Cranberry Sauce, Compote, Thanksgiving, Side Dish

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Cranberry Sauce

Serves 6

Times:

Prep Time: About 15 Minutes
Cook Time: About 18 Minutes, total
Total Time: About 40 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of cranberries (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 medium sized apple
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 (11 oz.) can Mandarin oranges, drained and cut into halves (about 1 cup)

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, rinse the cranberries with water and drain.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to the pot and mix. Place the pot over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture begins to boil, making sure to stir often.
  3. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries have broken down into a sauce. Stir often while cooking.
  4. Turn the heat off and allow it to cool slightly, for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, peel and dice the apple into 1/4 inch pieces.
  6. Once the mixture has cooled, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl.
  7. Add the strained sauce back into the pot. Add the diced apples and the cinnamon and stir. Cook mixture over medium to medium-low heat for about 8 minutes or unit the apples have begun to soften.
  8. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the Mandarin orange pieces until they are mixed in.
  9. The sauce is ready to be served warm. You can also allow the sauce to cool, then refrigerate it for about 1 hour or more if you prefer it to be cold.
  10. Note: If you want to give the sauce additional body and texture, you can always add some of the strained cranberry pieces back into the mixture. Keep in mind that this may add additional bitterness.

Helpful hints & tips

  • Wait for the mixture to cool so you do not risk burning yourself while straining the sauce.
  • Straining the sauce gives the sauce a smoother texture. Straining the sauce also keeps the skins out, which may cause the sauce to become overly bitter.
  • The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Equipment

Before you get started, here are some helpful items you may need. Click on each item for more details.

Ingredient List

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of cranberries (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 medium sized apple
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 (11 oz.) can Mandarin oranges, drained and cut into halves (about 1 cup)

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. In a medium pot, rinse the cranberries with water and drain. Rinsing cranberries in a pot.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to the pot and mix. Adding sugar and water to cranberries.
  3. Place the pot over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture begins to boil, making sure to stir often. Bringing cranberry mixture to a boil.
  4. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries have broken down into a sauce. Stir often while cooking. Rinsing Cranberries
  5. Turn the heat off and allow it to cool slightly, for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, peel and dice the apple into 1/4 inch pieces. Dicing an apple.
  7. Once the mixture has cooled, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl. Straining the cranberry sauce through a strainer.
  8. Add the strained sauce back into the pot. Add the diced apples and the cinnamon and stir. Cook mixture over medium to medium-low heat for about 8 minutes or unit the apples have begun to soften. Adding apples and cinnamon to the  cranberry sauce.
  9. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the Mandarin orange pieces until they are mixed in. Adding Mandarins to the cranberry sauce.
  10. The sauce is ready to be served warm. You can also allow the sauce to cool, then refrigerate it for about 1 hour or more if you prefer to serve it cold.
  11. Note: If you want to give the sauce additional body and texture, you can always add some of the strained cranberry pieces back into the mixture. Keep in mind that this may add a bit of bitterness.

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