Holiday Orange Cranberry Sauce

It’s almost December, can you believe it? We spent the long weekend hanging the lights, putting up Christmas decorations, and watching half of a Hallmark Christmas movie (before it got way too cheesy).

I love so many things about the holiday season. Finding the perfect gifts, spending time with friends, decorating, cooking – there’s no shortage of fun things to do.

This time of year, there are tons of great recipes being passed around. I’m pretty busy nowadays and I don’t get to cook or bake as much as I’d like to, so I love how the holiday season gives me the opportunity to get in the kitchen and create something.

I’m a little late posting this recipe, since Thanksgiving has already passed, but I think this cranberry sauce recipe could still be a tasty addition to the Christmas dinner spread. I think it would also be a nice complement to an appetizer cheese tray for a holiday party.

It turns out that homemade cranberry sauce is actually pretty easy to make and only takes a few ingredients. I was able to get all of the ingredients at Aldi. I think having the fresh sauce this year (as opposed to the jellied canned sauce) added a really nice touch to the overall meal.

All you need is a stovetop, a saucepan, a big spoon, and the following ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 24oz of cranberries (this was 2 bags at Aldi)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups Aldi fair-trade natural cane sugar (about 1 cup if using white sugar)
  • 1t Cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Directions

1. Begin by washing the cranberries and the orange under warm water.

2. Cook the cranberries in a skillet over medium-high heat (I used the setting 6 out of 10 on my stovetop).

3. Peel the orange, making sure to save the skin for a garnish. You can also add a few peels into the recipe if you choose.

4. Cut the orange into quarters. Juice the orange, and then add the juice and the rinds to the skillet. Stir together with the cranberries. If you want to cook the orange peel in with the cranberries (I did, and it added an extra citrusy element), add some finely sliced orange peels to the skillet.

5. As the cranberries cook, you’ll begin to hear them pop and see them turn gelatinous. Add the teaspoon of cinnamon now and stir in the sugar. An important note about the sugar: I used natural cane sugar, which I think is less sweet than white sugar. Honestly it took about 2+ cups to get the sauce to reach the desired sweetness. I added the sugar a ½ cup at a time, stirred, and continued to taste-test until I found the perfect ratio of sweet and tart. You may enjoy the recipe with more or less sugar, I think it depends on the flavor you’re trying to achieve.

6. Lastly, add the pinch of cloves. Beware, cloves are really strong – you only need a small pinch!

7. Once the sauce is jellied and sweetened to your liking, remove from the heat and spoon into a glass dish for storage. Top with the orange rinds before serving.

The final recipe serves about 6 people.

Side note: I made this sauce for Thanksgiving, and we had quite a bit left over. I’ve been mixing it with cottage cheese for a sweet snack! I think it would also make a nice addition to my morning oatmeal.

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