Wow your family and friends by making your own cranberry sauce this year!
It’s ridiculously easy – and it gives your house a scent of mulled spices!
Sure you can still offer up a can of what my family fondly refers to as ‘trailer-trash cran’. It’s Thanksgiving! The more culinary options the better, right? Plus, it’s what we grew up with and holidays are all about traditions.
True confession: No matter how fancy the menu, our family table isn’t complete without a can-shaped blob of jellied cranberry in the mix. We always serve two kinds of cran sauce; ‘with sticks’ and ‘without’. This recipe is my favorite ‘with sticks’ variety. (Not to worry, no ‘sticks’ were harmed making this sauce…nor does the recipe include any actual ‘sticks.’)
I got this recipe almost 10 years ago from my dear friend Fiona. Everyone needs a friend like Fiona! She knows everyone – and always has a creative solution for any dilemma. This includes selflessly sharing recipe ideas for entertaining. Trust me, this one doesn’t disappoint.
I don’t know what I like better, the scent of the cranberries simmering on the stove, or the cinnamon and vanilla ‘notes’ in the resulting sauce.
It’s fantastically delicious! Give it a try and let us know what you think! Having any leftover cranberry sauce is also the perfect reason to make our Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake. The original coffee cake recipe uses Laura’s mother-in-laws Brandied Cranberry Sauce. (See the second recipe below.) This alternative recipe is the fastest cranberry sauce you’ll ever make, and it is absolutely delicious in it’s own right. Just in case you have no mulled cran leftovers, give this one a try.
Our suggestion: Try them both and the coffee cake too!
Need other ideas? We post new recipes to the site almost daily this time of year. Sign up for our twice-weekly emails so that you don’t miss a thing!
Mulled Cranberry Sauce
- 1 bottle zinfandel
- 1 tbsp orange zest grated
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup orange juice fresh, if possible
- 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 24 oz fresh cranberries
- Combine all ingredients, except fresh cranberries in a non-reactive 3 quart saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until volume is reduced by half. (The scent of this cooking is better an any mulling spices!)
- Add fresh cranberries. Continue to simmer until the berries change color and burst. (You can hear them pop!)
- Remove from heat. Stir gently with a whisk to break up the berries.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean.
- Let stand at room temperature until cool. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavors to blend. [Makes 6 cups.]
Mom's Brandied Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries 1 package
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brandy
- Rinse berries in a colander, drain and spread to dry on a towel.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine berries with sugar and mix to coat.
- Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
- Remove from microwave and add brandy immediately. Stir to blend.
- Let Cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.