Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Orange Zest

Cranberry sauce, quite possibly the most controversial dish at Thanksgiving dinner. Those that love it fresh cannot understand how anyone would want differently. Those that love the jiggly, cylindrical mass from the can are quick to turn up their noses to anything homemade. Well, if you like the can-shaped stuff, I can't really help you there. But this sauce, with notes of ginger and orange, is simply divine. Enjoy it with a mineral-y Gewürztraminer.

  • 1 package fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 cup sugar (more if you like it sweet)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger

1. Wash and dry the cranberries and add them to a small sauce pan.

2. Wash and dry your oranges and zest them, adding the zest to the cranberries.

I cannot tell you how often my refrigerator is filled with naked oranges like this one below. A big fan of orange zest, I use it to liven up almost every dish I make. It is simply superb in pancakes though. Or try it on top of some fresh ricotta with honey. Yum!

3. Juice the oranges and add the juice to the cranberries. Now, you want to make sure you pick oranges with a lot of juice. How you do that is by selecting an orange that feels heavy and weighted for its size. Once you find the heavier ones in the bunch, give them a gentle squeeze. The perfect orange will not have much give to it.

4. Add the ground ginger. Now, if you like things spicy, then add a whole tablespoon. That is how much I use.

5. Bring the mixture of cranberries, orange juice and zest, and ginger to a light boil over a medium heat. Once you hear the first cranberry pop, turn the heat down to low. Cook according to desired consistency. If you want the cranberries to remain whole, cook for just a few more minutes. Cook for about ten minutes if you want a more chutney-style cranberry sauce.


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