Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving Cranberries

When I was a kid, the only cranberry sauce I knew came out of a can in one big cylindrical lump. It was then, put on a plate and sliced. You could still see the ridges from the tin can!! Dear Lord, that just ain’t right!! And they wondered why I didn’t eat it.

The pleasures of growing up and having the ‘opportunity’ to start your own traditions. We serve fresh cranberry at Thanksgiving and Christmas now. I had no idea how ri-donk-u-lously simple it was until my HUSBAND taught me how to make it after we got married. That’s just how easy it is folks.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep/Cook Time – 20min; Chill time – 2+ hours


12 oz fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

fresh orange zest and the juice of whatever orange you zested (ok, I added this little touch)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Zester (I use my microplane)

How to make fresh cranberry sauce:

Rinse the berries. Place in a pot. Add water, sugar, zest and juice.

Thanksgiving Cranberries

Heat over medium high heat until sugar is melted and berries burst (about 20 mins). Remove from heat and let cool. Place in fridge to cool the rest of the way. You can make this a couple of days in advance and serve cold or room temperature. If you want a kind of a chutney, add some toasted walnuts just before serving (ok, I added this one too, sorry Mark).

Thanksgiving Cranberries


Use the cranberry sauce over baked brie for a fantastic holiday appetizer!

Use it as preserves and eat on biscuits or toast for breakfast.


  1. Dina says:

    Melissa- i’m with you the canned jelly is horrific! i wouldn’t go anywhere near it. In our family, I grew up on a cold recipe for cranberry relish. It’s made with fresh cranberries, fresh oranges and lemons and sugar – that’s it! I remember making it in the kitchen with my great aunt using her WAY old iron meat grinder. I do it in the Cuisinart now…but not nearly as much fun. I’m going to try Mark’s cooked version. I’ve never had it that way!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Growing up, I never knew it came in a can! I did it Mark’s (Granny’s) way. Recently, I tried the canned whole cranberry sauce and added cut up apple, orange, celery and walnuts. We liked it alot.

    • The canned whole cranberry is much better than the jellied kind but nothing like from scratch. I like the cranberry for the turkey to be just the cranberries and a hint of orange. But I love the relish kind or chutney kind for other situations. It’s so versatile!!

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