Cranberry sauce is a fickle beast, but I love it. The problem is that it is either so tart that it’s no longer pleasurable to eat, or it is so sweet that you might as well just put yourself in a diabetic coma. Then there’s the whole chutney vs. sauce debate… the nuts vs. no nuts argument… listen, it’s a black hole that we could get sucked into for a long time.
The point is that I have a recipe I’ve come to favor. I like to think that it is the perfect sauce for a leftover turkey sandwich, while still entirely enjoyable at the main occasion. It’s saucey, without nuts, and falls midway on the sweetness-spectrum. Most of the sweetness comes from using fresh-squeezed orange juice; you add just enough white sugar to keep your taste buds from screaming. Feel free to make it a few days ahead of time too!
P.S. There’s no source recipe. It’s the product of cooking evolution, and it’s been altered so many times that the only resemblance to the recipe I started with in 2004 is that they both have cranberries and orange liqueur, but not remotely in the same quantities. Enjoy!
Courtney’s Orange Cranberry Sauce
(serves a large holiday party)
1 1/4 C fresh-squeezed orange juice
3-4 T sugar
2 T finely grated orange zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
18 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/4 C orange liqueur
Combine the orange juice, sugar, zest, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until saucey and slightly thickened. (About two-thirds of the berries should have popped open.) Remove from heat. Stir in the orange liqueur. Transfer to a serving bowl, then cool to room temperature before serving.