by: Elizabeth Toy
Nothing makes me feel as festive during the holidays as the sweet and spicy scent of cranberries and cinnamon…
— Not to mention the taste of cranberry sauce that is haphazardly mixing into the stuffing and green beans on my heaping plate.
I’ll admit, I didn’t take too kindly to it when I was a kid, but as I got older, I started to appreciate the sweet-tartness of freshly-made spiced cranberry sauce next to the otherwise savory mainstays on the Thanksgiving menu.
While some may resort to the canned cranberry sauce, the first time I made it fresh from scratch, I knew I would never go back. Sure, it may be easier to open a can of jellied cranberry sauce, but I’m convinced it just doesn’t taste as seasonally delicious (not to mention make your house smell like a holiday) as making it yourself!
Check out the spiced cranberry sauce recipe below by yours truly. It takes only about 15 minutes to make and you can also make it ahead to save time on T-day.
Don’t forget the dressing! There’s still time; you can even make this simple vegan dressing ahead!
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz. (1 bag) fresh cranberries
- orange juice
- orange or lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup of beet sugar*
- Optional: pear, apple, orange, rosemary, ginger, or star anise
* beet sugar can also be substituted with 1/3 cup maple syrup (plus more, to taste)
- Wash the cranberries and pick out any bad ones (those that are dried up, mushy, or damaged) and discard. Set aside 1/2 a cup of cranberries. If you’re using any additional fruit, wash and cut into small pieces. Also rinse your herbs, if you’re using any.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the beet sugar with orange juice over low heat and stir until dissolved.
- Add in the cranberries, citrus zest, (additional fruit and/or herbs and spices) and cook for about 10 minutes, until cranberries start popping.
- Remove from heat and place into a heat-safe serving bowl.
- Allow to cool or cover and refrigerate until time to serve
- Serve alongside stuffing, rolls and your other Thanksgiving favorites.
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