Sunday, November 16, 2014

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

(Not my pic.)
We both grew up with cranberry sauce out of a can... and when we discovered how easy it is to make your own and customize it,  I don't think we could ever go back to the canned version.  Earlier in the year I discovered Pomanders, which are oranges studded with whole cloves and used as a room freshener.  We hung several of them up in our house, in closets, in the hallway, and they really made our house smell amazing... we both fell in love with the smell of oranges and cloves combined. So when I decided to make a cranberry sauce today, I decided to go heavy on the orange and also use cloves.  Sweet, tart, slightly spicy... it pretty much smells like the holidays.

Fresh rinsed ranberries
(Here's a how-to for making your own pomander.)

I've really been trying to cut back the sugar in recipes and I did so in this one as well.  Most cranberry sauce recipes you find will use up to a cup of sugar or honey.  With this one, I figured I've got the orange juice, the cranberry juice, the apple, the Triple Sec... plenty of sweet but a lot of tart.  If you're not big into tart, you might want to use 1 cup of sugar in the recipe.

And in the holiday spirit, I chose Jim Carroll singing "People Who Died".  (I apologize for the video showing Leo and Marky Mark.)  -jen

Difficulty:  Easy
Time:  20 minutes
Makes: 2 and 1/4 cups
Orange & Lemon Zest
  • juice and zest of one orange (about 1/3 cup juice)
  • juice and zest of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons juice)
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec liqueur 
  • 1 apple (your choice), diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring orange juice, lemon juice, cranberry juice and sugar to a boil.  Add rinsed cranberries and bring back to a boil (about 5 minutes).  Lower heat to a simmer and add citrus zests, Triple Sec, diced apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes (but not more than 15 minutes or it won't set).  Remove from heat and let set.  Serve at room temp or chilled - it's up to you. 


  1. This sounds like the hot version of Grami Thudium's cranberry orange relish. :)

  2. Chris - it definitely is more like a relish to me than a "sauce", though I never had Grami Thudium's version. :)