Fresh cranberry sauce is the perfect amount of tartness. This recipe combines the fresh berries with brown sugar, fresh oranges, and cinnamon. The best part is how easy it is to make!
For the longest time, I was intimidated by fresh cranberry sauce. I grew up with the canned version (my grandfather’s favorite). I can vividly remember it sitting on the dish, a perfect cylinder of this dark jelly concoction. My grandfather would slice it with a knife and it would stay unscathed. Sorcery! Lol My apologies to all you canned cranberry aficionados, but it freaked me out then and it still freaks me out now.
So when it came time for me to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner on my own, I refused to put it on the table. I apologized to Grandpa and told him it will be the real thing or nothing at all. In fact, I was so adamant about it, he conceded right there on the spot. Needless to say, he was a changed man. He loved this recipe so much I would have to double it every year (him and my hubby would fight over it).
Tips for fresh cranberry sauce:
- Check your cranberries. They should be firm and have a slight bounce to them. Discard any that are soft or broken.
- Since we are working with fresh cranberries, you may need to increase the sugar or orange juice slightly. You want the sauce to be tart, but not so much so that you pucker up.
- I love adding cinnamon sticks to this dish. It adds a wonderful flavor without overpowering the dish. I would not recommend using ground cinnamon.
- The sauce will naturally thicken as the cranberries burst. I like to remove the sauce from the heat once the last berry has burst.
- The sauce will be very hot. We’re essentially creating a jam, so allow it the proper amount of time to cool before eating.
This recipe is straightforward and simple. It’s one of my favorite things to make on Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy it with your family as much as I do with mine! Enjoy 🙂
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 whole oranges zested and juiced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- Place all of the ingredients into a medium non-stick skillet. warm the pan over medium-low heat. As the cranberries heat, they will begin to burst. Continue to stir the sauce until all of the berries have burst and sauce has thickened.
- Once thick, allow the sauce to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.