For me a slice of turkey is not complete without a generous scoop of cranberry sauce. With the richness of a turkey dinner and the butter laden sides (I’m looking at you mashed potatoes) cranberry sauce adds a little pop to the plate… really it’s basically jam for meat, what is not to love?!
I’m sure a few of you out there are probably thinking there is lots not to love – too tart, jelly like, blah blah, blah.
Firmly standing in the cranberry lover camp, I’m always surprised when people pass the dish or worse say they don’t like cranberry sauce. Whenever I hear this I can’t help but judge (sorry!) and secretly wonder if said dislike is based on canned cranberry sauce?
Which cranberry camp are you in?
I had canned cranberry sauce once, it was horrible. First holiday post my parents divorce was thanksgiving, and my Dad’s weekend. There was (you guessed it) canned cranberry sauce, a frozen butterball turkey, and boxed stuffing. A 12 year old me returned home to promptly announce I wanted to learn how to cook a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. If there is one upside of being a child of divorce, it is that I can cook a turkey dinner like a boss.
If you fall into the not a fan of cranberry sauce camp, or have been buying a can for convenience, this holiday season give me a chance to convert you to homemade cranberry sauce as a delicious topping for your holiday turkey.
First put back that no good can of cranberry sauce on the store shelf. While they say you can’t judge a book by its cover, if that cover is a can label yes, yes you can. I’m going to let you in a little secret… cranberry sauce is easy, like really easy to make. I can not help but chuckle a little when friends exclaim “wow you made your own cranberry sauce” as I place a dish of cranberry sauce on the table. I’m not sure who started the rumor that it is difficult to make, but it is not.
Okay with that good-for-nothing can back on the store shelf, return to the produce section and pick up a bag of fresh cranberries. You’ll notice them with the other veggies throughout the holiday season. All of the other ingredients you should have at home, but just in case you will need ground cloves, brown sugar, and an orange.
Follow my directions below and you can wow family and friends with your Martha like holiday hosting skills (Come on, you know secretly we all have a little desire to be Martha like).
The best part you can make cranberry sauce ahead of time. That’s right up to 2 weeks ahead of your dinner, just store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for cranberry sauce as much as my family and I do!
- 4 cups (or one package) fresh cranberries
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- In a sauce pan add water, sugar, and ground cloves, stir to mix and over medium-high heat bring to a boil.
- Add cranberries, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and using the back of a wooden spoon, mash berries. Stir in orange zest.
- Allow to sit to return to room temperature, sauce will thicken as it cools.