During the holidays, no family meal is complete without turkey and cranberry sauce. They go together like socks and shoes, like bread and butter, like peas and carrots. However, we have become accustomed to seeing the ringed can-shaped cranberry jelly from the supermarket gracing our tables, the centerpiece of our holiday spread. Today, I am going to change all that by showing you how to make the easiest homemade cranberry sauce ever. After you try this recipe, opening a can may even seem like hard work!
Step 1: Ingredients
Step one to making easy homemade cranberry sauce? Very few ingredients - and this sauce only has three.
You will need:
- one 600g bag of frozen cranberries (about 4 cups)
- two large oranges
- 1/2 c. sugar
Step 2: Combine
Pour the frozen cranberries into a saucepan. Zest* and juice both oranges, and add the orange zest, juice and sugar to the saucepan.
*a little note on zesting: Zesting an orange is effectively removing the flavorful skin without the white pith, either in large strips or in a finer grate-like size. The best tool for the job, if you can get your hands on one, is a microplane, which is available in most kitchen-supply stores. It's also great for hard cheeses like parmesan, or dark chocolate, and believe me, once you have used it, you'll wonder how ever got along without a microplane!
Step 3: Cooking
Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the sauce until the cranberries begin to split open. Stir the sauce from time to time to prevent sticking or burning, but there should be enough liquid in the bottom of the pan to avoid this from happening. This step should only take about 5-6 minutes.
Step 4: Mashing
Once the cranberrie begin to split, remove the pan from the heat, and , using a potato masher, mash the little berries into a pulp. BE CAREFUL! Cranberries can be slightly explosive at this stage, so mash them gently. Once all of the berries are mashes and sauce is thick, transfer to a heat-proof serving dish. If your sauce is not a thick as you would like, return it to the heat, and cook some more of the liquid out of the sauce. Make sure to keep an eye on the sauce, because it can burn very easily at this point.
Step 5: Serving
This cranberry sauce can be served still warm, at room temperature or chilled, depending on your personal preference, though I find the flavors much nicer when served warmer.
Now you have a great and easy-to-make cranberry sauce, worthy of occupying that all-important spot next to the turkey in your holiday spread. Happy holidays!