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A Basic Cranberry Sauce Recipe for Beginners – With or Without Bling

If you are charged with contributing something to the holiday table, cranberry sauce is as easy as it gets – high reward for minimal effort.

Homemade is so much better than the canned kind, which tends to be low in flavor and high in high-fructose corn syrup. To make your own, all you need to do is simmer a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries with about a cup of sugar – white or brown (or to taste) and a cup of water or orange or apple juice. Toss in a cinnamon stick or some grated orange or lemon zest if you like, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the berries pop and it looks like cranberry sauce. But that’s just the beginning…

There are a ton of things you can add to dress up your cranberry sauce to take it to dinner. Here are a few ideas.

Things that add bling:

  • a finely chopped or grated apple or pear
  • a splash of booze – port, Grand Marnier, or red wine in place of the water or juice
  • chopped fresh rosemary and a few chopped dried figs
  • a handful of raisins, dried cherries or chopped dried apricots
  • grated fresh ginger and other warm spices – try allspice, nutmeg and cloves
  • a spoonful of chunky marmalade
  • a chopped, peeled mandarin orange
  • chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen), frozen raspberries or halved grapes
  • a finely chopped small onion or shallot and a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • grated lemon zest and golden raisins
  • grated fresh ginger and a spoonful of curry paste

Related Cranberry Recipes on Babble:

Photo credit: istockphoto/Funwithfood

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