This week everyone will be giving thanks and enjoying the holiday with family and friends.  And many will be gathering around the table for a feast of traditional turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.  One of our favorite side dishes is the cranberry sauce.  I have nothing against the cranberry sauce in a can, but I do love this homemade sauce that combines tart cranberries with citrus orange and lemon flavors.  It’s sweetened to perfection and a perfect compliment to any holiday meal.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

You’ll need 2 (12 ounce) packages of cranberries, an orange, lemon, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water.  This recipe is for a large group so if you plan on only having 4 – 6 people at your table you might consider cutting the recipe down to half.

Zest the orange and lemon.  You’ll need 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice.  If you have a juicy orange and lemon it will be just about the right amount for the sauce.  I always get a backup orange and lemon just in case.

Rinse the cranberries and pick out any bad ones.  Add all the ingredients into a large saucepan.

Stir the pot and bring to a boil.

When the cranberries begin to boil, turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes the cranberries will have popped and sauce will be thick.

The cranberries should be blended a bit for a thick sauce with bits of cranberries.  I love my new emulsion blender but when I didn’t have one I used a potato masher.  Either one works quite well.

Let cool before serving.

Cranberry Sauce

1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice (approximately 1 large orange)
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice (approximately 1 large lemon)
Zest of 1 Orange
Zest of 1 Lemon
24 ounces Fresh Cranberries
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Water

Pick through and rinse the cranberries in a colander.  Pour them into a 3 – 4 quart saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the orange and lemon juice and zests.  Pour the sugar and water in with the cranberry mixture and stir until the sugar has melted.  Bring cranberries just to a boil then turn down the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove cranberries from burner and let cool slightly.  Use an emulsion blender or potato masher to blend the sauce into a thick consistency.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Sauce tastes better when made at least 1 day ahead of time.

Makes 4 cups