Cranberry sauce is an underrated Thanksgiving side. I LOVE cranberry sauce. I’m talking the kind that slides right out of the can, still holding the metal can ring shape. I put multiple slices of that on my Thanksgiving plate every year, BUT I recently saw Bobby Flay make a homemade cranberry sauce and it blew. my. mind. It was SO easy.
I still love you, canned cranberry sauce, BUT this year, lets be super impressive and make it from scratch. It looks super fancy but it comes together quick and uses a lot of ingredients you already have around the house for your Thanksgiving meal. You can have it done from start to finish in under 45 minutes AND you can make it up to a week in advanced of actual Thanksgiving and check it right off your thanksgiving-to-do-list early. Lets get to it.
The 5 non negotiable ingredients making this cranberry sauce so super sexy are the shallots, fresh orange juice, grated apple, fresh ginger and local apple cider. You wouldn’t normally think of adding a shallot-y, onion-y flavor to cranberry sauce but that little bit of savory balances out the sweetness and tangy-ness of the cranberries. It rounds out the entire dish and makes it SO delicious.
What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving? We are headed to my boyfriend’s family. They celebrate on their family’s Christmas tree farm up in Pennsylvania and it is pretty much the best day ever. The food is so delicious, the people are wonderful and you get to leave with a favor, aka a Christmas tree. I can’t wait. This year I’m bringing sweet potatoes times 2! A savory version with a sourdough breadcrumb-cheesy topping and the traditional sweet kind (I can’t ruin anyone’s Thanksgiving by NOT showing up with that traditional marshmallow topping some people look forward too.)
After you saute the shallots and ginger, you add all of the rest of the ingredients to the pot and let them cook for about 15 mins. The cranberries will POP, pretty loudly, don’t be a scardeyy cat! That’s normal. Once they are almost cooked down, you add the other half of the cranberries and let it cook for another five minutes. You want some of the cranberries to still hold their shape so you can see and feel the freshness of the cranberries! The pectin in the cranberries will act as a natural thickener as you cook the cranberries down, ending in the most lucious and flavorful cranberry sauce you have ever had! It will make a believer out of non-cranberry-lovers. I promise.
YOU CAN DO IT. This year is the year of homemade cranberry sauce. Because I said so.
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 1 apple peeled and then grated
- ½ cup white sugar or cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup local honey
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup apple cider
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 pound fresh cranberries
- Heat the canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ginger and shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, honey, orange juice, apple cider, grated apple, granulated sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture is nice and bubbly.
- Add half the cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop (the popping sound is kinda loud, don't be scarrrred!) and the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining cranberries and cook another 5 minutes or so.