daily meal

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

In honor of Thanksgiving, Food Network is getting the entire food community together to celebrate a Virtual Thanksgiving, called The Communal Table, on Wednesday, November 16 at noon EST.  

Since there are so many wonderful Thanksgiving recipes out there, I was really torn on what to make.  An array of pies, casseroles, and dips crossed my mind, but I wanted to make something different.  Now I know what you are all thinking, cranberry sauce is by no means different, but for me it is! Every year I slave over the oven making so many homemade dishes and pies (which will be posted soon I promise) that I never lave myself enough time to make some of the more simpler Thanksgiving dishes, like cranberry sauce.  I usually just take advantage of the fact that I can run out to the store and buy the canned stuff! 

Sadly, cranberry sauce is just one of those side dishes that tend to get overlooked. Therefore, since it really is so simple to make, I decided to share my homemade sauce with everyone and hope that you will set aside the 12 minutes that it takes to make this sauce! Yes, it really is that quick and the taste is heavenly! There are really only three basic ingredients that you need to make a homemade cranberry sauce, but the spices and flavorings are just for an additional boost!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup water
-1 12 oz. bag fresh whole cranberries
-1 cinnamon stick
-1 orange zested and juiced or a splash of orange liqueur (optional) 
-Pinch of nutmeg and allspice (optional)

In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Add the cranberries and bring to a boil. Then, turn down the heat to a simmer and add the cinnamon stick and spices if using.  Allow the cranberries to simmer for about 10 minutes. Many of the cranberries will pop, but it is okay if some remain whole. 

Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest and juice and/or orange liqueur (which is what I prefer using). Remove the cinnamon stick if you used one, and pour the sauce in a bowl or serving dish to cool.  Allow to cool completely before serving so that the sauce has time to thicken. 

Eat up and enjoy! 

For more great Thanksgiving recipes, visit Food Networks blog at FN Dish and check out these other great recipes as well:

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Sweet Life Bake: Pumpkin Margarita
Easy Peasy Organic: Thanksgiving Ginger Cocktail
Dishin and Dishes: Butternut Squash Bruschetta With Sage Pesto
Mooshu Jenne: Green Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod: Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Salad
Jones is Hungry: Roasted Vegetable Salad
Purple Cook: Pasta and Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
From My Corner of Saratoga: Curried Pumpkin Soup

CIA Dropout: Turkey and Stuffles Roulades With Squash Mash
FN Dish: Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey
My Angel's Allergies: Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens

Cafe Terra Blog: Cranberry Pumpkin Stuffing
Virtually Homemade: Twice-Baked Cheddar and Chive Potatoes
Easy Eats Magazine: Sausage and Dried Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing
The Sensitive Epicure: Oyster Dressing and Gravy
Daily*Dishin: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Supreme
What's Gaby Cooking: Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing
Family Fresh Cooking: Coconut Brown-Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Silvana's Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mushroom-Rye Stuffing
The Cultural Dish: Cranberry Sauce

I Am Baker: Pumpkin Cake
Heather Christo: Pumpkin Vanilla Ice Cream Pie
And Love It Too: Pumpkin Custard (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Double Pumpkin Mini Pies With Candied Pecans
Ladles and Jelly Spoons: Not Your Same Old Pumpkin Pie
Daydreamer Desserts: Cuban Diplomatic Pudding
Thursday Night Dinner: Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Caramel Apple Pie
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  1. Look beautiful! I've never been huge on cranberries (well, since I've moved here, we really didn't have them much in Germany), but I love making the sauce with my wife and mother-in-law in their ancient meat grinder :)

  2. Love how simple the recipe is! Thanks for the info on the foodnetwork site for thanksgiving recipes =]

  3. Elyse, Simply tasty and you're right, cranberry sauce is often overlooked but delivers big when it's homemade. May you & yours have a holiday filled with peace and thanks!

  4. Mmmmm...I just love how cranberry and orange compliment each other...great sauce, Elyse!

  5. I love cranberry sauce and I think everyone needs to make it themselves! It's so much better and it's easy too. This looks wonderful, bright and chunky, I love it :)

  6. I love cranberry sauce and make it every Thanksgiving. My recipe is similar to yours, but I've tried it with the cinnamon stick!

  7. Delicious! I agree - it is easily overlooked, but when it's homemade....it's a thing of beauty! Honey Bunny requests the "good stuff" every year!

  8. What a gorgeous looking sauce. Cranberries are not cheap over here and we did it only at far away high class supermarkets. I will love this over some toasted slices of bread.

  9. Your cranberry sauce looks delicious! I have never made cranberry sauce (or turkey) by myself and it's good to know you need to put orange zest etc. I didn't know that. It's pretty easy to cook than I thought. I should give this a try!

  10. Orange liquer is a great touch. Do you think this could be canned? (I'm thinking this could make a cool gift for people.)

  11. Elyse, I can smell that gorgeous sauce from here. Wonderful memories flooding in - especially as my French hubby refuses to eat it and won't even try it, saying it's serving turkey with 'jam'. Well, I'm going on strike and serving your cranberry sauce while he watches, ok? This is too good to miss!

  12. Jay, you could definitely can this, just make sure you can it immediately after so the heat will seal it.

    Jill, you should try and trick your husband into eating it somehow! For example, David "hates" sweet potatoes, but I thought he was just full of crap, so I made a sweet potato soup, told him it was a butternut squash soup, and he hoovered down two bowls! I was crying from laughing so hard afterwards! So you'll have to try and work the cranberry sauce in somehow lol

  13. Oh wow! I can't wait to try these! I have a really hard time finding canned cranberries that don't have high fructose corn syrup in them, so these will be the PERFECT substitute! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  14. This is gorgeous! I always have three different types of cranberries hanging out around the table...including the canned stuff, haha. There's no denying the deliciousness of fresh cranberry sauce and your looks delectable and I'm sure tastes even better. I love it. Excellent choice.

  15. Awesome recipe. Such a perfect timing. I always wanted to make my own cranberry sauce and your great recipe gives me an excuse to do so this Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing it.

  16. Yum-just the thought of whole cranberries makes my mouth water-love those tart little gems. Sometimes people crunch up the cranberries so small you might as well be eating just jello. Yours looks awesome. Great post.

  17. Fun to be in this Thanksgiving feast with you! Your recipe looks amazing. Please update the link to my mashed sweet potatoes recipe, it is incorrect: http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/11/16/brown-butter-coconut-mashed-sweet-potatoes-recipe/

  18. Ooh!! I might have to forego the can stuff this year! I'd love to bring some fresh cranberry sauce to my parent's house!

  19. OH YES!!! YUM!!! I adore cranberry sauce, and it NEVER gets over looked at my dinner:-) You sauce looks soooooo good, I want some now! It was fun cooking with you at the Communal Table with Food Network! Hugs, Terra

  20. I love cranberry sauce and usually its the canned that I eat, but this year I bought a bag of fresh cranberries. So I will be making your recipe as a trial run on Sun before the big day. I'm sure it's going to be tasty.

  21. I think I need to keep a big ol' dish of this in the refrigerator at all times!

    Glad we were at Food Network's Communal Table together!

    Best regards, Scott
    (Facebook: Jones Is Hungry; Twitter: @JonesIsHungry)

  22. I love these little gems and I always keep handy in my cupboard(dried) to include in my dishes. Though I never tried making sauce from just cranberries. I have a long list to try out new things. I am @ http://simpleglutenfreekitchen.blogspot.com/ and now a follower of yours.