Please put down the can opener and throw away that can of jellied cranberries! Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make and will only take you 20 minutes, tops! Don’t be scared, I’ll walk you through the entire process.

This sauce has all the flavor of cranberries but offers another taste sensation with orange juice and lemon zest plus a little real maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. Your tastes buds are going to be so happy! And so will your guests!

Project Real Mom: All you need is 4 ingredients for amazing cranberry sauce! (Lemon not pictured, whoops!)

Project Real Mom: All you need is 4 ingredients for amazing cranberry sauce! (Lemon not pictured, whoops!)

 

So, I forgot to add Mr. Lemon to the photo but I got a great picture of him later. Wondering what’s in the jar? That’s real maple syrup! My husband grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Minnesota and many of his neighbors were Amish. This pure maple syrup comes from trees the Amish have tapped on his family farm. Such a lovely treat!

Rinse your cranberries under cold water and add to a medium sauce pan.

Project Real Mom: Locally grown cranberries.

Project Real Mom: Locally grown cranberries.

 

Aren’t they pretty?! These cranberries are locally grown and came from the midwest. I’m a fan of supporting local and regional farmers as often as possible. 

Add 1 cup of orange juice to the pot. 

Project Real Mom: Add the orange juice to the pot.

Project Real Mom: Add the orange juice to the pot.

 

Psst…don’t look at my messy stove.

Add 1/2 cup of real maple syrup. Let me be very clear here…pancake syrup will not do. That means Log Cabin, Aunt Jemima and whatever other fake brands of syrup are out there will not do! It MUST be real maple syrup. You can also substitute 1/2 cup sugar for the pure maple syrup if you don’t have any. (But you really should have some…this is the perfect excuse to buy some! Your pancakes will thank you.)

Project Real Mom: Pure maple syrup adds a hint of sweetness.

Project Real Mom: Pure maple syrup adds a hint of sweetness.

 

Here’s Mr. Lemon. I didn’t mean to leave him out of the family photo earlier. But now he’s the star of this glorious shot. Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest to the pot and stir to combine.

Project Real Mom: Lemon zest. It's so fragrant!

Project Real Mom: Lemon zest. It’s so fragrant!

 

Cranberries make a delightful popping noise when they start to cook. Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen! 

Project Real Mom: The cranberries are beginning to pop.

Project Real Mom: The cranberries are beginning to pop.

 

Bring the cranberries to a boil. The smell of citrus and cranberries should be wafting through your kitchen by now. Mmmm.

Project Real Mom: Bring to a boil.

Project Real Mom: Bring to a boil.

 

The sauce will start to thicken as it cooks and the cranberries break apart. Don’t worry about the foam. We’ll skim that off in the next step.

Project Real Mom: Mmmm...it's almost done!

Project Real Mom: Mmmm…it’s almost done!

 

Use a spoon to skim off the foam. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all. Just get as much as you can. 

Project Real Mom: Skim the foam off the top of the cranberry sauce.

Project Real Mom: Skim the foam off the top of the cranberry sauce.

 

Allow the sauce to cool. If you make this ahead of time, store in the fridge and serve cold. 

Project Real Mom: Lemon Orange Cranberry Sauce...absolutely delicious!

Project Real Mom: Lemon Orange Cranberry Sauce…absolutely delicious!

 

Isn’t it beautiful?! Such a rich, red color and outstanding flavor! You’ll never go back to canned, jellied cranberries again. And to think it only took 20 minutes to accomplish this culinary masterpiece! 

Happy Thanksgiving, guys!

Lemon Orange Cranberry Sauce

Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Meal type Condiment, Side Dish
Misc Prep Ahead
Occasion Christmas, Thanksgiving
By author Project Real Mom

Ingredients

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup (don't even think about using pancake syrup! you can sub 1/2 cup sugar here too.)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions

Step 1
Wash cranberries.
Step 2
Add to medium sauce pan.
Step 3
Pour in orange juice and maple syrup.
Step 4
Add lemon zest.
Step 5
Heat on medium heat until it boils.
Step 6
Slightly reduce heat and cook 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir occasionally.
Step 7
Allow to cool and serve.

 

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