Fresh cranberries, orange juice, and zest add a brightness to this quick & easy cranberry sauce. So much better than what you get from a can!
Fresh cranberries are not available often enough, in my opinion. That's why when they are in stores, I grab a couple extra bags to keep in the freezer.
I never know when I get the urge to make something that features their sweet-tart goodness, like Glazed Orange Cranberry Bread. And I substitute them for the dried cranberries in Glazed Orange Cranberry Scones.
Goodness, it seems I really like oranges and cranberries together, doesn't it.
(Yes, and glazing things, too!)
So it makes sense that I'd use oranges in my Fresh Cranberry Sauce recipe.
No jellied cranberry sauce from a can here!
Pure cranberry flavor
Cranberry sauce (aka cranberry relish) is just fresh cranberries cooked in a sweetened liquid. You need the sweetener because otherwise it's way too tart to eat.
You can use sugar, but I find the resulting cranberry sauce to be too candy-like. I like a cranberry sauce that has bright, clean flavors.
Sweetened with honey and spiced with a hint of cinnamon, this Fresh Cranberry Sauce recipe delivers just that. And it's dairy-free and gluten-free to boot.
Adding orange juice and orange zest complement the flavor of the fresh cranberries without competing with them. Here the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its...er...ingredients.
This recipe for cranberry sauce uses half a bag of cranberries, so you can use the other half to make that Glazed Orange Cranberry Bread I mentioned earlier. Perfect for a crisp Fall afternoon snack!
If you want more, simply double the recipe and use the whole bag of cranberries. Believe me, I understand!
Cranberry Sauce is quick and easy to make
The first time I made fresh cranberry sauce, I was amazed at how quick and easy it was to make.
Just bring the sweetened orange juice and zest to a low boil with a stick of cinnamon, then add in the fresh cranberries. They'll burst and soften as they cook, which only takes about ten minutes.
That's the whole process! The hardest part is waiting for it to cool.
Oh, and don't worry if the cranberry sauce seems a bit thin at first. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Chilling dulls the sweetness, so don’t worry if the sauce isn’t overly sweet. You can still adjust it as desired.
For an additional kick, you can add a tablespoon or two of bourbon to the cooled sauce for an adults-only version! Mmm...
Fresh flavor for your cranberries
The orange juice and zest bring bright citrus notes to this homemade cranberry sauce, and the honey and cinnamon add a rich undertone to the body.
Bright clean flavor without being cloying. Win!
A versatile cranberry relish
It's amazing how many ways I eat my Fresh Cranberry Sauce.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce doesn't last too long at my house.
Hmmm...maybe I should grab another bag of cranberries for the freezer?
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
There are many ways to enjoy a treat if you're on a special diet. Here are a few ideas that are all gluten-free, and I have many more. Have a go!
Fresh Cranberry Sauce with orange and honey
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- ½ tsp orange zest, finely grated
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey, water, orange juice, orange zest, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over Medium-High heat, stirring to combine.
- Add the cranberries and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to maintain the boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will soften and start to burst, and the sauce will thicken slightly. Adjust the sweetness with additional honey, if desired.
- Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon stick. Allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.
- Serve and enjoy!