Simple Tart Cranberry Sauce

Inspiration: This recipe was somewhat of a means to an end for me. I tried it out simply because I wanted to make some cranberry salsa to include on our Mexican-inspired Thanksgiving plates, and to make the salsa I needed some cranberry sauce. And if I can take a minute to be honest, here, this is the first homemade cranberry sauce that I’ve ever eaten in my life. Can you believe that? I’ve eaten the store-bought kind….and I’ve had some sweetened cranberry casserole-type dishes….but I’ve never had simple homemade cranberry sauce. It was high time that that ended :)

What We Loved: One of the things that I love about cooking is how food can sometimes be so simply and beautifully transformed right before your eyes. Throw a carton of fresh cranberries and a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice onto the stovetop, let it boil for a few minutes, and you magically end up with this stunning, gorgeous red sauce that just begs for you to dig a spoon into it. I was amazed by the simplicity of the process and by how beautiful the final result was. And that’s not even mentioning the flavor of the sauce, which was fruity and tart, dominated of course by the flavor of cranberries with just a hint of orange and sugar. I’ve definitely found a lovely new treat to add to the fall and winter menus around our house.

Tips: I contemplated not adding any sugar at all to this recipe, but after a taste test, the sauce was way too bitter without any sugar at all. The original recipe calls for just a teaspoon of Stevia extract (I prefer agave or honey), but I added about two teaspoons of agave to suit my taste. I’d recommend tasting the sauce without any sweetener and then continuing to taste-test as you slowly add in the agave/honey, as I did, because what’s perfect for me might be too tart for you. And remember that the final dish will still be rather tart and unlike a very sweetened cranberry sauce, since only a minimal amount of sugar is used. It’s best to eat the sauce atop a nice piece of roasted turkey for the perfect complement.

Simple Tart Cranberry Sauce
Source: Adapted slightly from The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate

12 oz cranberries, rinsed
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons agave (or honey)

1. Place the cranberries and the orange juice in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will begin to pop.

2. Boil for a few minutes, stirring, until the cranberries have all popped and the mixture has thickened.

3. Remove from the heat. Add a few teaspoons of agave or honey, to taste.

4. Let cool and refrigerate.


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