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Ginger Laced Cranberry Orange Sauce

One Year Ago: Cranberry Nut Bread

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What would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? Well, it would be my childhood Thanksgiving.  That’s right ladies and gentleman. In my house there was NO cranberry sauce. I remember my family telling me that cranberry sauce was gross so they never bought it. They said it was just a congealed jello like substance that came out of the can looking like a can. I remember thinking to myself “well no wonder we don’t have this stuff…it sounds gross!”  Now, lets fast forward to the year 2009.  It was Thanksgiving day, Mr. NN had a cold and we decided to stay home instead of going to his family Thanksgiving.  I quickly realized we couldn’t stay home and not have a small feast of our own. So off to the store I ran. What would I find on Thanksgiving day? Not a whole lot I found out.  I managed to find one package of turkey thighs and then stumbled onto bags and bags of fresh cranberries.  So I grabbed a couple bags and went home with an idea to finally try cranberry sauce. I was going to do it! I was going to make myself some cranberry sauce and see why exactly it was “so gross” as my family had told me years before.

I got home and unpacked my goodies and stared at the bag of cranberries for awhile. “Hmmm” I thought to myself “now how do I make this stuff?”  As any good food blogger would do I turned to the help of other food bloggers. I searched my reader and found that just days before the wonderful Alice of Savory Sweet Life had posted a recipe for Simple but Delicious Cranberry Sauce. Simple! I’m game for anything that has “simple” in the title. Don’t judge me. I like simple 🙂  Ok, ok, back to the story.  So I gathered my ingredients threw it together and watched it bubble and boil away.  I started to notice how wonderfully delicious it smelled in my kitchen.  The scent was amazing.  After it was finished I couldn’t help but take a little bite of the warm sauce.  I was sure I wasn’t going to like it (after all I had never heard anything good about cranberry sauce) so I scrunched my nose, closed my eyes and shoved the bite into my mouth.  Not at all what I expected!  The tartness of the cranberry danced on my tongue while the hint of orange rounded it out.  I immediately thought to myself “what in the world was my family thinking!? This stuff is great!”  I found that I was happy just eating it plain.  A simple jello like salad – very common in the Midwest where I am from.  The best part is that it was tasty warm or room temperature.

This cranberry sauce is based off Alice’s recipe but I added in ginger, orange zest and used only brown sugar. It turned out wonderful and was really tasty. I have been obsessed lately with ginger and the flavor paired lovely with the tart cranberry and citrus orange. If you are one of those people who think cranberry sauce is gross and can only come from a can, I beg you to try this. It’s fresh, delicious and best of all it isn’t shaped like a can!

Ginger Laced Cranberry Orange Sauce:

12oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (Add more if you like)

I used a microplane to grate my orange and ginger.

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid has reduced – stirring occasionally. You’ll hear the cranberries popping – don’t worry, that’s what you want them to do. Remove from heat and serve. Cranberry sauce can be made days ahead and brought to room temperature or slightly heated before serving.

Slightly adapted from: Savory Sweet Life

Check out more delicious Thanksgiving goodies!

21 responses »

  1. I didn’t grow up with “real” cranberry sauce either! I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about until I tasted the real thing… I can eat it on it’s own!

  2. Looks marvelous! I never liked jellied cranberry sauce, but the fresh stuff is awesome 🙂

  3. I’ve recently discovered how good ginger pairs with cranberries. So your sauce would be fun to try.
    I have always made fresh cranberry sauce so imagine my surprise when my teen-aged son requested I buy the canned jellied cranberry sauce. Apparently he had it at a relative’s house and liked it.

  4. Definitely a Thanksgiving staple! Yours looks great and I love the ginger in there. And great minds think alike, my ATTYC post tomorrow is apple-cranberry chutney, lol!

  5. My family only ever had canned cranberry sauce which, honestly, is disgusting. And I thought I hated the stuff until I tried a REAL version. OHMYGOD good. I love that you put ginger in this!

  6. That canned stuff is ghastly. No wonder your parents didn’t like it. I made two kinds this year…one with rosemary and orange and the other with ginger. (I freeze them.)
    I remember my mom saying the basic recipe is 4 cups cranberries, half as much sugar and half as much as water. 4-2-1. I’ve never forgotten. 🙂

  7. I love the simplicity and especially the ginger (no nutmeg?) and I think I am doing this. Oh – the make-ahead – that really works for me.

  8. I’m ashamed to admit I like the can.

  9. I am a cranberry sauce FANATIC. My mom has been home making cranberry sauce since I was little. We do it a little differently- no cooking involved! Grind up the berries in an old school grinder with apples, oranges and walnuts. Add some sugar and thats pretty much it! Delicious. I look forward to it every year. Your version looks INCREDIBLE. I feel like I need to try it cooked up. Happy weekend!

  10. this look like the perfect cranberry sauce..

  11. Homemade cranberry sauce beats canned any day. Love the addition of fresh ginger.

  12. Your cranberry sauce looks lovely. It will be great with the Thanksgiving turkey. You made me laugh when you said, “…best of all it isn’t shaped like a can!”

  13. I am so excited! My husband has been asking for a cranberry sauce made with orange (he loves oranges!) . I am so glad you posted this recipe, it sounds great! He is going to be a happy camper next week:)

  14. Pingback: Time to Submit Your Thanksgiving Recipes! (And Recipe for Easy Apple-Cranberry Chutney) « All Through the Year Cheer

  15. Nothing can beat homemade food. I am sure this one will be great for your Thanksgiving table.

  16. I love cranberries, sauce, salsa, or even shaped like a can! And I’m all for easy!!! 😉

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. My Mom usually makes it but one crazy person in my family loves the canned kind – so sometimes we have both. I like the idea of ginger in it!

  18. This cranberry sauce sounds fantastic with ginger and orange, great combination!

  19. Sounds truly amazing! I’d eat it even if it was can shaped 😀

  20. such lovely flavour combinations! love the vibrant colour of this too! yum!

  21. Pingback: Thanksgiving Round-Up & Winner! « All Through the Year Cheer

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