Skip to content

Zesty Cranberry Sauce

November 19, 2012

I hate recipes around this time of year (is that too strong a phrase for this kinder-gentler holiday? OK, then, let’s say it frustrates me) that call for 2 cups of fresh cranberries. And what are we supposed to do with the 2/3 of a cup, or so, that we have left? There’s no room in my fridge right now. It’ll get relegated to a corner in the back of a shelf where I have leftover cookie crumbs from several batches ago that I kept to sprinkle over ice cream. Did I just say that? I was thinking out loud.

I like to utilize the food I have. But I don’t know if I’ll mess up the ratio in the cranberry blankety-blank that I’m making if I throw in all the cranberries. So I really pick through them, thinking, “Oh, no, this one won’t do -it’s got a little wrinkle, and this one isn’t good, it’s got a bump… and this one’s got a spot.” Until I’m down to the 2 cups specified in the recipe. What if we treated humans this way? Not Good. I’d get thrown in the discard bag, along with a lot of other perfectly fine people I know. Maybe I should divest myself of this cranberry picking behavior. Unless they’re dirty rotten cranberries, keep em’! It’s truly a sound moral choice.

This recipe, I’m relieved to report, calls for a full bag of fresh cranberries.

There’s a lot more happening, too. The zest and juice of both a lemon and an orange, A chopped-up Granny Smith apple. And a lovely cinnamon stick.

Oh, and sugar. One does need sugar for all those cranberries, blemish-free and other-wise.

Zesty Cranberries

Throw some raisins in at the end of cooking time for some more natural sweetness and another layer of flavor.

This recipe comes from Ina Garten’s, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, with cinnamon stick IN and some of the sugar OUT.

Cranberry-Apple Sauce

adapted ever-so-slightly from Ina Garten’s  Barefoot Contessa Parties! Cranberry Fruit Conserve


1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries, rinsed, drained, and picked through (in a good way)
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 c.  golden raisins
3/4 c. chopped walnuts or raisins


Cook cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes, or until skins begin to pop.

Add the apple, zests, lemon and orange juice and stir. Place cinnamon stick into sauce. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until cranberries are soft.

Remove from heat and add raisins. Stir in nuts, if using.

Cool and serve chilled.
Note: original recipe called for 1 and 3/4 c. sugar. I think the raisins add more sweetness and I like to keep some of the natural cranberry tartness.

Another Note: My Novio claims to hate (there’s that word again)  fresh cranberries but he LOVES this cranberry sauce (and I didn’t even disguise it or anything) – proof that this cranberry source is a winner your friends and family will love.

Enjoy with your Thanksgiving Meal!


From → Fruit, Sides

One Comment
  1. Looks wonderful! Great twist on an old favorite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: