Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a pretty straight forward dish. It could not be easier to make and customize to your own tastes. You have a better chance of screwing up everything else on your table than the cranberry sauce. 

About a month ago I went to a cooking demonstration at a local appliance store. The chef demo'd brussel sprouts, mushroom bread pudding, and cranberry sauce. My prime takeaways? I don't use enough olive oil in my mushrooms and I've been cooking brussel sprouts all wrong. With regards to the cranberry sauce, I always knew it was easy but they did this great little "make your own" bar thing with it. After making just a very basic batch of sauce, they had different sweeteners to pour over the top of it (whisky based, maple syrup-ish, citrus-ish, etc).

For Thanksgiving this year, I was responsible for butternut squash and cranberry sauce. I'm pretty sure that I failed at the squash. It was just too lumpy and sad. I might turn it into a soup? But the cranberry sauce was a win. Here's how it goes.

Also, the picture at the top shows the progression during cooking. 0 minutes > 10 minutes > 22 minutes. After about twenty minutes, you've got homemade sauce and everyone is impressed.
  1. Rinse the cranberries. 
  2. Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and add the cranberries, 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue boiling over medium heat until the berries burst and break down, forming a sauce, 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Taste for sweetness. If it’s too tart, add more syrup – a tablespoon at a time – until the sauce tastes sweet enough for you. 
  4. Remove from the heat and let cool. Spoon into your serving container to serve or store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for 3-4 days. 
Shopping List
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup pure maple syrup + more if needed
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup water 

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