Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Spice

Living in an area where cranberry farms are simply everywhere...this time of the year is most beautiful when the flooding of the cranberry fields begin. How appropriate then to dig into fresh cranberry recipes when the fall harvest comes complete with the tart little red berries.

Never having made my own cranberry sauce before, this Thanksgiving I scoured recipes to try and find the 'right' one. I ended up with a combo of several but all looked too sweet. I basically followed the one on all recipes.....but lowered the sugar content. Just right for me...not quite sweet enough for the rest of the do a taste test before removing from stove.Ingredients

  • 4 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup water (I substituted 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup orange juice)
  • 1/2 tsp pwd. cloves or if using spice bag, 5 whole cloves
  • 2 - 3 tsp cinnamon or 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar (2 if you like it sweeter)
  • fresh orange zest
Remember that you can adjust the spices to taste by simply taste testing during the process...and with that wonderful aroma...who can resist a taste?!!

Place the cranberries and liquid in a saucepan over heat. Put spices in a spice bag or put ground spices put in the pot. Cook until the cranberries begin to pop (they really do)...about ten minutes. Stir in the sugar and lower the heat. Continue to cook about five or ten minutes longer until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. If using a spice bag discard it and then chill in the refrigerator overnight or 6 to 8 hours before serving.


  1. Is it possible to have turkey without cranberries? Fresh cranberry sauce is the best...and this recipe looks yummy with the added citrus and spice.

  2. I made fresh cranberry sauce for the first time last year. I can't see why I have been using canned for so many years. Homemade is so much better. I've been enjoying your blog for some time. Thank you for all the fabulous recipes

  3. This looks delicious and I'll have to try it for Thanksgiving this year.

    I've made a cranberry relish for years now, one that you grind whole oranges in.

    However, since it is just the three of us now and neither hubby or son likes that relish, I was looking for another recipe. Of course, I should have known I'd find one here. :)

  4. What beautiful berries..and a lovely recipe to try, Trish. I usually don't make mine with spices but I will next time.
    I've visited a cranberry bog and was fascinated watching the harvesting of the berries. I came away with a large bag of fresh berries!

  5. I typically replace the white sugar with macintosh apples - 2 medium size - peeled and cut thinly so they break down while cooking. Also a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of golden raisins chopped. I prefer the fruit over with natural sugar/sweetness.

  6. Hey...that is a great idea "Anonymous'. And the apples will add a special flavour....perhaps not the same 'zing' as the oranges I tried this year. Thanks for the tip

  7. I increase the orange juice for zip instead of water. Hope you enjoy!

  8. Thank YOU for this wonderful blog, and for helping us figure out what to serve each day... :) Last night we had company and I made your creamy broccoli soup... they all loved it! My sincere thanks!


  9. I love fresh cranberry sauce.. . especially on the turkey sandwiches the next day. . I will certainly give your citrus addition a try and also the apple idea from annonymus. .
    Cranberry sauce is so easy to make. . .and so delicious.

  10. This looks amazing. I really love cranberries, but I can't stand the canned jelly stuff! Thanks

  11. I made this for Thanksgiving, it was GREAT. Any suggestions what to bake/make with the leftovers?


  12. a good use for the leftovers is to put it into your turkey sandwiches.

    I also make a relish with 12 oz raw cranberries, 1 medium navel orange chopped and seeded

    Put the orange pieces into a food processor and pulse to chop a bit. Add the cranberries and 1/2 cup sugar. Pulse again to a coarse chop of all. put into a tightly covered container and refrigerate overnight. Leftovers could be frozen but there is never much left.

  13. I made this fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year. Never made fresh before. Everyone agreed there was too much cloves in it so will cut in half next time. One of my guests really loved it though so I sent her home with a pint of it. Also, this endeavor made me buy a zester. What a wonderful tool.

  14. Amazing...just making now! Smells divine!