There are a million cranberry sauce recipes on the internet. Literally.
But I’m going to put one more out there because maybe like you, I was under the impression that all cranberry sauces were cloyingly sweet, over-spiced, and one of those “I know nobody likes it, but we have to have it on the table” type of thing.
With lots of beige food on the Thanksgiving table, the burst of sweet-tart flavor and ruby red color is very welcome! So I worked on a recipe with orange juice that would appease both types of guests — those who long for something very traditional, and those who like a bit of pucker.
Classic cranberry sauce usually comes together with a combination of water and sugar, so for this naturally sweetened version, I used orange juice as the liquid, and a small amount of maple syrup to play into the warm spice of cinnamon.
A few dried cherries plump up while simmering, adding another layer of dimension, and texture, which I particularly love. And the fresh orange zest is essential for perking up the fragrance and flavor.
It’s sweet enough without any added sugar, and the true essence of cranberries shines. Better yet, it tastes even better day after it’s made, so you can prep it ahead and have one less thing to worry about while trying to baste the turkey and knead the bread.