Spiced Cranberry Sauce


This isn’t your average cranberry sauce.

For years, I didn’t even think I liked cranberry sauce. Who wants to eat tart jello-like slices that come out of a can? Not me.

This cranberry sauce, however, is a totally different story.

Lightly sweetened with maple syrup and bursting with Fall spice, this little dish might be my new favorite addition to our Thanksgiving dinner table. Pure maple syrup is a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with anti-oxidants, zinc, iron and calcium, and may even prevent gas and bloating when you swap it for refined sweeteners–> a definite perk after a large meal! Paired with nutrient-rich cranberries, this is a dish you can feel good about serving to your family this year.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce
serves 4-6

Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:

12 oz. fresh cranberries
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (I prefer Grade B)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

Directions:

Wash the cranberries and discard any soft ones.

In a 1 1/2 quart sauce pot, combine the water, maple syrup, lemon juice, ginger and cinnamon over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the cranberries, and cook for 15 minutes. The cranberries should burst and the sauce will thicken.

*Note: Make sure you don’t cook the cranberries any longer than 15 minutes, or pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a mold, or storage jar. Allow to chill for at least 6 hours before serving.


4.9 from 8 reviews
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Lightly sweetened with maple syrup and bursting with Fall spice, this nutrient-rich cranberry sauce is sure to be a favorite at your Thanksgiving dinner table!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup (I prefer Grade B)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
Instructions
  1. Wash the cranberries and discard any soft ones.
  2. In a 1½ quart sauce pot, combine the water, maple syrup, lemon juice, ginger and cinnamon over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cranberries, and cook for 15 minutes. The cranberries should burst and the sauce will thicken. Make sure you don't cook the cranberries any longer than 15 minutes, or pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a mold, or storage jar.
  5. Allow to chill for at least 6 hours before serving.
Notes
As with any recipe, feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. I happen to LOVE fresh ginger, and would have added more if I were the only one eating it! Fresh orange juice and zest can also be used in place of the lemon, if you prefer.

As with any recipe, feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. I happen to LOVE fresh ginger, and would have added more if I were the only one eating it! (Austin doesn’t care for ginger at all, so this was our compromise.) Fresh orange juice and zest can also be used in place of the lemon, if you prefer.

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of cranberry sauce? Did you grow up with homemade or canned versions?

Comments

  1. Rebecca says

    This recipe looks fantastic! And thanks for sharing that info about not cooking cranberries longer than 15 minutes. I has no idea! I always wondered why my cranberry sauce never thickened as much as I wanted it to… :-)

  2. says

    Okay, I totally thought I hated cranberry sauce, but I mean it does look pretty nasty coming out of the can. But, this looks delicious. May have to try this one out!

  3. Kristi says

    I didn’t know that about the pectin, either. Great tip. We take a bit of a pass on T-giving, so I’ll probably make my orange cranberry sauce (it’s a hit with the whole family), but I really appreciate the tip!

  4. Wendy says

    Thanks for this! The hub and I were just talking about cranberry sauce yesterday!

    Do you know how long it might last in the fridge before it needs to be fully eaten? Our first sweetie is due around Thanksgiving, and hub’s parents are visiting then. I’d love to make this up early (e.g. next week) and still have it be a-okay when they are here the following week.

    Thank You!

    • says

      I’m hoping this batch will last us until Thanksgiving, too! I’ve read varying opinions on the shelf-life of cranberry sauce; it sounds like it stores a lot like jam? In that case, it would easily keep in the fridge for up to a month or more. I’ve been considering freezing mine, then thawing it the day before Thanksgiving… but I’m not sure that the consistency will be the same after freezing.

      So, the short answer is… I don’t know. But, I’m pretty sure you could make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge– as long as it doesn’t grow mold or smell “off” it should be fine. Good luck with the new baby!! :)

  5. says

    i love making homemade cranberry sauce!! never used lemon- typically use orange zest and honey with ginger, but lemon with maple sounds like a great combo! i already have 4 bags in the freezer waiting to be used :)

  6. Love Phillips says

    Every year I think I will make the cranberry sauce and haven’t but this year I saw how good yours looks so I tried it and it is Amazing!, I’m taking it to the family dinner along with your pumpkin bars. And some vegan Mac and cheese sauce. Thanks for having so many amazing recipes available . I might try the sugar free challenge.

  7. LaDonn says

    This looks great – I’ll be making it this year. Thanks for the timing tip!

    Any idea of the # of servings? We’ll be 40 family & friends on Thanksgiving.

  8. Pia says

    I’ve been making a somewhat similar cranberry sauce using grape juice, it’s always a hit and I like to smear the leftovers on bagels and cream cheese

  9. says

    I made my own cranberry sauce a few years back similar to yours. I used brown sugar instead and added flakes of red pepper. That spicy flavor in the background was soooo good!!

    Ps I linked your blog on my monthly learning log. You are a great inspiration in our house. My kids are participating in a cookie contest next week and we will be using one of your recipes. Just don’t know which one yet!! :)

    http://www.creatingtreasures.blogspot.com/2012/11/learning-log-of-october-2012.html

  10. Michelle says

    This is by FAR my favorite cranberry sauce recipe! I never liked the canned stuff and once I made this, I’ve never turned back!! Alton Brown Rocks!

  11. Holly says

    Love this recipe!!! I made it and it is super yummy!!! I made a second batch using the orange and added some cayenne pepper too. I I think that version is my favorite!! Thank you for all your amazing recipes!!

  12. says

    Love this recipe! Have been using the other similar versions and variations I have used for years – and as the left overs have used as jam for toast or in the the turkey sandwich BUT now I hardly use any bread at all so very perfect to have this other use for the left over cranberry sauce!

  13. Jenifer says

    We made this tonight and my hubby liked it better than his mom’s! ;-) I bought and froze about 10 bags of cranberries at the holidays since you can’t get them any other time of year. Looking forward to making this all year long! :-)

  14. Cyndi says

    As soon as I can get fresh cranberries I do. I usually make the standard sauce and we ate it with everything. Cranberries are very healthy and I love them. So I’m trying this out. It sounds delicious.

  15. gabby says

    Just made this for our early thanksgiving celebration and my kids liked the pan clean (once it was cooled). So so yummy and so excited to share tomorrow!

  16. Jess says

    This is incredibly delicious. I liked the spoon, scraped out the sides, and was left wishing I had made more! I have a feeling the rest of the English department will, tomorrow, too…

  17. says

    tons of thanks for sharing this, my 9yr old made this and came out so good, everybody enjoy this, she also suggest that instead of peanut butter jelly sandwich you can replace jelly as cranberry jelly…..love this

Trackbacks

  1. […] Spiced cranberry sauce:  It smelled like a heavenly candle while cooking on the stove.  I had never cooked with fresh ginger before, so it added a bit of uncertainty.  Plus I didn’t plan this out so well.  It is supposed to sit for 6 hours prior to serving; I started making it maybe 3 hours before dinner?  Needless to say it ended up in the freezer for a short time to help it solidify, but we ate it after ~2 hours of sitting/cooling and it was still good.  It seemed like it got a little spicier and more tart after sitting in the fridge overnight.  I found the recipe for this at: http://detoxinista.com/2012/11/spiced-cranberry-sauce/ […]

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