Whether it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving, cranberry orange sauce is a must condiment in every American holiday dinner! It is a traditional side dish that is sweet, delicious, heartwarming, and loaded with sweet and tart cranberry flavor.
I love the holiday season! It is the best time of the year. That’s not only because you get holidays from work, but because you get to spend some quality time with your friends, family, wine and lots of homemade food.
I follow family traditions strictly! Therefore, I start preparing for the holiday season just before thanksgiving. You will find several sauces, jams, entrees, desserts, etc. in my pantry! Now as much as I love traditions, I love to play with different flavors.
For instance, we all know how important cranberry sauce is during the holiday season. And I have nothing bad to say about the classic homemade sauce, but honestly, how many of you have grown tired of eating the same sauce every year? I mean, we need something new, don’t we?
So, this holiday, what I did was I took my generation-old cranberry sauce recipe, and I changed it a bit. Yes! I did it. And I am sharing the healthier version with you guys. Let me tell you, and the flavors turned out to be astonishingly amazing! The sauce infused with a zesty, citrusy orange and red wine, is a total winner! It was just perfect!
This cranberry orange sauce is super easy to make and a fantastic twist on the classic recipe.
ORIGIN OF CRANBERRY SAUCE
Cranberry sauce is a traditional sauce that is usually served during the holiday season. Specifically served at thanksgiving dinner in America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada.
The first-ever recipe of cranberry sauce, also known as cranberry jam, comes from a cookbook published in the 17th century. The book called “the art of cookery” by Amelia Simmons, is the first-ever cookbook in America. So, one thing is clear, that the cranberry sauce is 100% an American thing.
Since it is usually served on thanksgiving, you might wonder if the tradition has been going on since the first thanksgiving. Unfortunately, we can’t find references to whether people served cranberry sauce along with turkey on the first-ever thanksgiving. However, some sources suggest that the cranberries might have been used in the stuffing.
Anyways, despite the fact that it has been around since the 17th century, cranberry sauce was formally first introduced in the early 19th century. And later, in 1941, the canned version was introduced in the market, which turned out to be a revolution.
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Wine Infused Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 600 g (21 ounce) fresh cranberries
- 200 g (7.5 fl. oz.) caster sugar, or maple syrup or agave nectar
- 150 ml (5 fl. oz.) red wine, or bourbon, optional
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cloves
- 2 star anise
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 Tsp orange zest
- ½ Tsp Salt
CRANBERRY ORANGE SAUCE VARIATIONS
- Gingery cranberry sauce – Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 Cup orange juice to cranberries and top with orange zest.
- Apple cranberry sauce – 1 peeled & diced red delicious apple as it balances the cranberry tartness. Also add 1 cup apple juice.
- Jalapenos cranberry sauce – 1 teaspoon lemon juice to cut out the heat from 2 jalapenos (seeds and ribs removed), 1/2 cup orange juice.
- All spice cranberry sauce – Use a combination of few or all whole spices like green cardamom, cinnamon stick, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, bay leaves etc.
- Orange cranberry sauce in fennel – 1/2 teaspoon fennel with 1/2 cup orange juice and some orange zest with cranberries.
When making cranberry orange juice, keep in mind a few things:
- Addition of wine is totally optional.
- Don’t mind using liquor in food??? add a tablespoon of triple sec to enhance the flavor of orange.
- You can swap caster sugar with maple syrup or agave nectar. You can mix & use these in any proportions you want.
- Need extra zing?? Throw in ancho chili powder or cayenne powder.
- Add a teaspoon of lemon or orange zest. More than that might taste bitter!
- When preserving the cranberry orange sauce, make sure you fill the sterilized jar by leaving 3-inch space, seal it tightly and place it in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
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