This homemade cranberry sauce is classic. Made from fresh or frozen cranberries and ready in 20 minutes, it's a must-have for Thanksgiving dinner. Easy to make-ahead, too!
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cups (one 12-ounce package) fresh or frozen cranberries
Optional: Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
1. Rinse cranberries:
Place the cranberries in a colander and rinse them. Pick out and discard any damaged or bruised cranberries.
2. Boil water with sugar:
Put the water and sugar in a medium saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
3. Add cranberries, cook until they burst:
Add the cranberries to the pot and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst.
4. Stir in mix-ins, if using:
Once the cranberries have burst you can leave the cranberry sauce as is, or dress it up with other ingredients. We like to mix in a half a cup of chopped pecans a pinch or two of orange zest.
Some people like adding raisins or currants, or even blueberries for added sweetness. You can also add holiday spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. If adding spices, start with a pinch of each and add more to your taste.
5. Let cool:
Remove the pot from heat. Let cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator. Note that the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
The recipe calls for a cup of water. You can easily substitute that with 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1/2 cup of water if you want to increase the orange note in the sauce (cranberries and oranges play well together!)
You can also reduce the sugar if you want. Start out with half as much and add more if you think it needs it. If you use less sugar, reduce the amount of water you add as well.