Give that canned cranberry sauce the boot. Orange cranberry sauce has a wonderful balance of tart and sweet. Plus, it takes only minutes to make. Vegan & gluten-free side dish.
The eighties were a weird time for food.
With mashed potatoes made from dried flakes, gravy from a shelf-stable packet, and canned green beans covered in canned soup, you would think we were living in a post-apocalyptic world where fresh produce didn’t exist.
In those days, I only saw cranberries in a gelatinous cylinder, coming out of a tin can with its signature slurp-plop sound.
Truth be told, my ten-year-old self didn’t mind the cranberry log with the aluminum can marks still on its exterior.
And I thought green beans were far superior when they were French cut, salty and limp Del Monte, as opposed to the kind we picked fresh in the summer.
But nowadays, it seems strange that there were so many shortcuts for food that is simple to make. It’s not difficult to whip up a batch of mashed potatoes straight from the tuber or to spend 15 minutes at the stove making cranberry sauce.
Orange cranberry sauce
The orange cranberry sauce I’m sharing with you today uses orange juice and maple syrup for the liquid and to give some sweetness to tart cranberries.
With a bit of orange zest at the end, the citrus shines but doesn’t overpower. The orange juice and maple syrup mellows the mouth-puckering cranberries while not being overly sugary.
Since orange cranberry sauce comes together in only minutes, there’s really no reason not to make it from scratch.
Keep an eye on the cranberries, and remember to stir frequently.
In no time at all, those cranberries will begin to pop. I like to help them along by smashing them with my spoon as I stir.
It adds a nice homemade touch if you leave a few whole cranberries behind for texture.
Then just put the orange cranberry sauce into the refrigerator to cool. It will continue to thicken as it sets.
This sauce is great with your favorite veggie roast. (Herbivorous Butcher turkey-style seitan is shown above.)
Or pour it onto roasted sweet potatoes during their last five minutes of cooking. It’s a tasty alternative to marshmallows, that other Thanksgiving curiosity.
Tart and sweet orange cranberry sauce
- 8 ounces cranberries fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup orange juice Preferably freshly squeezed
- 6 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- In a medium sized pot, combine cranberries, orange juice, and maple syrup. Bring to a medium-high heat and allow the liquid to simmer. Stir frequently.
- After about 7 minutes, the cranberries will start to pop. (If it begins to splatter, lower the heat slightly.) Keep stirring and pressing on the cranberries with a spoon to help them open. Cook for about 7 more minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened. Add zest to pot and stir to evenly distribute.
- Turn off the heat, and set the pot aside to cool.
- Refrigerate orange cranberry sauce in a covered container until ready to eat. As it cools, the sauce will continue to thicken.