Every single year, Homemade Cranberry Sauce is like gammon roast in our house, a standing tradition that the whole family looks forward to! You can use fresh cranberries if you're fortunate enough to find them but frozen cranberries work well too. No thawing necessary, and with a few ingredients like cinnamon and orange peel you will have your very own homemade cranberry jar.
Although prominent on Christmas day in particular making it ahead is a wonderful way to slowly ease the holidays in. I always make it twice, once now at the end of November and again a few days before Christmas. Read more at the bottom of this post on storing your cranberry sauce.
This is an acquired taste and not everyone likes cranberry sauce, my husband in particular has moments for it. I think I got him to warm up to the taste over the years even though he's still not 100% sold. There's something irresistible about cranberry sauce when you see someone scoop it out the jar. A scoop over roast chicken can tempt anyone, even the non cranberry members. Whether it's the tart, pop of taste and stunning color or the season itself, either way, this cranberry sauce is the absolute best!
If you are anything like me then you love cranberry sauce on anything, and more especially the days that follow after Christmas lunch. Any and all left over meat is being turned into a sandwich and the best kind is a good quality mayonnaise, slice of meat and cranberry sauce!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
It has a very tart taste to it so I do add sugar to balance it out but then again not too much sugar or it starts tasting like tartness gone overly sweet, no thank you.
This time of year it gets more and more difficult to find cranberries because as soon as they get to the shelves, they are off the shelves. Everyone is making a ton of cranberry recipes and we are sharing our homemade and really good cranberry sauce.
Cranberries: You can use both fresh or frozen, they both work as beautiful as the other. Frozen ones are a very convenient option and don't even need to be thawed.
Sugar: I've used both granulated sugar and castor sugar, they both work but I do prefer granulated sugar or soft brown sugar which I love too.
Orange juice: The orange juice and zest add a pop of color and acidity to the sauce. Yes you can also use water but the orange juice brings a sweetness which is balanced out with the tartness from the cranberries. It's also delicious.
Vanilla: I have to add vanilla to my cranberry sauce and my daughter always says 'ah the aromas of vanilla!" That's become a standard and it really does bring out the flavor.
Orange peel: This is my very own secret weapon! A slice or 2 adds not only fragrance and flavor but also has a lot more Vitamin C. Love the look, smell and taste.
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Homemade cranberry sauce is one of the easiest recipes that you will ever make and anything store-bought simply cannot compare.
Combine the ingredients. Add all the ingredients into a small pot or saucepan and stir to combine. Make sure the heat is turned to medium-high and keep stirring intermittently.
Simmer the sauce. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer. Stir occasionally, you'll notice the cranberries will gently burst as they simmer and the aromas fill your kitchen of cinnamon Christmas! The sauce will take roughly 10 to 20 minutes to simmer. Taste to adjust.
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Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 2 cups cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar, granulated
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 to 2 tbsps orange zest
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 orange peels
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Combine the ingredients. Add all the ingredients into a small pot or saucepan and stir to combine. Make sure the heat is turned to medium-high and keep stirring intermittently.
- Simmer the sauce. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer. Stir occasionally, you'll notice the cranberries will gently burst as they simmer and the aromas fill your kitchen of cinnamon Christmas! The sauce will take roughly 10 to 20 minutes to simmer finish.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Allow the sauce to cool completely before serving or storing.