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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Our family doesn't eat a lot of cranberry sauce. As a matter of fact, I never touched the stuff until I started making Cranberry Tarts, and then I realized cranberry sauce was nothing more than a less sweet version of a tart filling. Now I'm a huge fan, not just for Thanksgiving, but all fall and winter. It is especially good with pork.


1 12oz bag of fresh Cranberries

1/4 - 3/4 cup Sugar depending on how sweet or tart you like it

1 cup Orange Juice

2 teaspoons Orange zest



In a saucepan, combine the orange juice and sugar on medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Add cranberries and orange zest.

Cook on medium, frequently stirring, until most of the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.

Remove from the heat and let cook before storing in the fridge.

Note: this can be made up to 7 days ahead of time, and the flavor improves over time.


  • Cranberry sauce can be made up to 7 days ahead, and the flavor improves over time. You can even freeze it!

  • Did you know you can freeze fresh cranberries? I pick up several bags throughout the holidays, so I have fresh cranberries all year long.

  • If you want to use the juice from the orange you zest, you may not have a full cup, you can make up the difference with water.

  • You can only use water if you don’t want to use orange juice at all.

  • To make this even more special, consider some different mix-ins:

    • Cinnamon

    • Nutmeg

    • Pecans

    • Blueberries!

  • If you like a chunkier cranberry sauce, hold out 1 cup of cranberries from the bag and add them after all of the cranberries in the sauce have burst. Cook for a couple of minutes until they just burst or are softened, and then remove from the heat.

  • Sugar substitutes can actually enhance the flavor. Here are some ideas:

    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Honey

    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Maple Syrup (my personal favorite)

    • 1/2 cup Applesauce with a touch of honey at the end if you want to sweeten it up.

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About Me

Hi!  I'm Jen

Cooking is a passion passed down from both of my grandmothers to my mother and then to my sister and me.  

Throughout my career, I was always drawn back to food.  I've learned from experienced chefs, apprenticed with professional bakers, and tasted coffee with international experts.

Today I'm sharing those experiences with you.

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