My Favorite Cranberry Sauce

Right before Thanksgiving, a friend had a whole bunch of us over for a trial Thanksgiving run.  She made the entire meal.  It was absolutely wonderful.  The turkey was moist, the stuffing was flavorful, and the desserts were stellar.  Still, we all agreed the meal had one clear standout–this cranberry sauce.  I asked for the recipe right then and there and knew I’d be insisting on bringing it to Christmas dinner! 

With the cranberries, apples, and orange juice and rind, it has just the right balance of sweet and tart.  The texture is absolutely wonderful–somewhere between a jellied cranberry sauce and a chutney.  It’s not too solid (a la cranberry sauce from a can) and the bits of orange rind and apple give just the right amount of bite.  The flavors come together beautifully and the cinnamon and cloves give you just a hint of holiday warmth with each bite.

favorite cranberry sauce

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce


printer-friendly recipe


1/2 orange

2 c. water

1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, Pippin or McIntosh

3 c. fresh cranberries

1 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves 


1.  Squeeze the juice from the orange and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind and cut the rind into small dice. 

2.  In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

3.  Peel, core and quarter the apple.  Cut into half-inch dice and place in a saucepan. 

4.  Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, ten to 15 minutes.

5.  Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for one hour before serving. Alternately, cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving dish and pass at the table.  Makes 3 1/2 to 4 cups.

one year ago: chocolate mint chip cookiesand snickerdoodles

two years ago: My other favorite cranberry sauce, vanilla-bourbon cranberry sauce.

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  1. Anonymous
    December 24, 2010 / 4:07 pm

    Yum! This looks great! I have twin nieces who adore anything with cranberries in them, so I am now obligated to bring cranberry dishes to family events. I will definitely keep this recipe in my 'to cook' list. Thanks!

  2. elly
    December 30, 2010 / 3:28 am

    I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it was a hit! Glad you liked it and I hope you had a great Christmas. 🙂

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