Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce recipe by

It may be four days from Thanksgiving, but preparing for the big day has already begun.  You remembered to take the turkey out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator, right?  If not, make a lot of room in the fridge, and get that bird in there before it’s too late.  A frozen turkey will take a few days to safely thaw.

You can start the Thanksgiving cooking process early as well.  Pass on the canned version this year and make your own homemade Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce.

fresh cranberries in a bowl

On a quiet night this week, when you have the kitchen to yourself, put on some traditional Christmas music and make a cup of Earl Grey tea.  When you have rested for a moment and calmed your mind, then it is time to awaken the senses with popping cranberries as they melt with the sugar, and the aroma of sweet spices perfume the air.

how to make cranberry sauce?
making cranberry sauce at home for thanksgiving

After the fresh, little red pearls burst and transform into a sugary cranberry sauce, add in orange zest and juice along with the wonderfully warming spices of Ceylon cinnamonginger, clove, and vanilla.  The red potion will hypnotize you as it bubbles and steams and thickens, lifting your spirit for the upcoming holiday season. 

Once it cools, make a little bit more room in the refrigerator and give that thawing turkey some company with homemade Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce, ready to be served on this year’s Thanksgiving table.

Homemade Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce by

Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce by Season with Spice 
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

3 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup raw sugar or light brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 tsp Season with Spice's ground ginger
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice's ground Ceylon cinnamon
1/8 tsp of ground clove
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A squeeze of lemon juice (optional, but it adds a refreshing note)
For a fancier version, add in a swirl of bourbon or port.

1. Combine cranberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix well and as the sugar starts to dissolve, about 2 to 3 minutes, add water along with orange juice, zest, spices (and Bourbon or Port if using) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook mixture gently for about 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Finally, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice.
2. Remove from heat, cover pan, and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Or you can prepare the sauce a few days ahead, and then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

- Make this Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce any time of the year as a filling in cookies and cakes and bars, as a jam for your morning toast or bagel, or as a side for pork chops or another meat dish.