Just 5: My Father’s Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

Maybe it is just me, but Thanksgiving never feels complete without cranberry sauce. Growing up, there was one Thanksgiving my dad decided that no longer would he stand for canned cranberries and took on the task of making his own sauce. Though the first was great, over the years the recipe has matured and become much more refined. Now, this is a staple to our family’s Thanksgiving day and to every leftover sandwich. So, in honor of spending time with those you love, I thought it was only right to share this recipe that has become a beautiful and simple piece to our meal of thankfulness.

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

Here is what you will need:
2 8oz bags of organic cranberries (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (it makes a serious difference)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup of bourbon
1/4 of apricot brandy (don’t have it? Replace with Grand Marnier)
1 cup organic brown sugar
Zest of one orange 

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

Start by placing the fresh squeezed orange juice into a medium non-stick pot onto the stove. Place on high. Add in the sugar, brandy, and bourbon.  Stir until the sugar fully dissolves into the orange juice.

Once you have dissolved the sugar, add the cranberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg into orange juice. At this point the orange juice should be simmering. Stir occasionally until you see all the berries begin to pop. This should take about 10-12 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

When all berries have popped, place it on low and let is cook for another 10 minutes. Once the berries seemed to be cooked down you can turn off the heat and let stand. Stir in the zest of the orange at this point. You can either serve it warm or place it in the refrigerator over night and served later.

Cranberry Sauce  |  The Fresh Exchange

I like to make the sauce the day before so the flavors really mature overnight. It has the most flavor the next day.

I hope this brings something special to your table on Thursday. Enjoy the process of preparing for the meal. It is not worth stressing over. I promise!


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Bringing us back to nature through the garden and community.

I’m Megan Gilger and I am glad to have you here growing with me as we garden, live seasonally, and pursue an eco-lifestyle.

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