This homemade cranberry sauce is cooked with the fall flavors of apples, orange, and cinnamon, giving this traditional holiday classic a melody of new flavors.
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Table of Contents
- About Cranberry Sauce with Apple, Orange, and Cinnamon
- What’s in this cranberry sauce?
- How many oranges do you need?
- Can you make cranberry sauce in advance?
- How long is cranberry sauce good for?
- Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
- Should you serve cranberry sauce warm or cold?
- How long can you leave out cranberry sauce?
- More great sauce recipes
- How to make homemade cranberry sauce
- Recipe Details
About Cranberry Sauce with Apple, Orange, and Cinnamon
Nothing quite says the holidays like cranberry sauce.
Because really, cranberry sauce is the staple fruit option to round out any respectable Thanksgiving dinner, amirite?
And maybe that’s because cranberries are one of those few flavors we reserve for the winter months, or maybe it’s because cranberries go amazingly well with all the turkey, but you know what?
Even if it wasn’t the holidays, I’d make cranberry sauce anyway simply because of the delicious sweetly tart taste.
What’s in this cranberry sauce?
In order to make this classic sauce for the holidays, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Cranberries – The star of the show! A holiday favorite thanks to its tart and sweet flavor. This recipe will work well with either fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Orange juice and orange zest – For that sweet citrus flavor that balances cranberries so well.
- Light brown sugar and maple syrup – Added sweetness to counter the tartness of the cranberries.
- Apple – For a touch of fall flavor.
- Cinnamon stick – Cooked in the sauce and removed before serving, this adds just the right hint of slightly-spicy cinnamon flavor.
How many oranges do you need?
This recipe calls for a half cup of orange juice and roughly three tablespoons of orange zest. While you should be able to get enough zest from one orange, each orange only yields about a quarter cup of juice – so if your goal was to only use fresh juice, you would need two oranges total to meet the requirements of this recipe.
Can you make cranberry sauce in advance?
Certainly! Cranberry sauce is great for making in advance and freeing up kitchen space for big holiday events.
For the best presentation, I recommend making this sauce no more than 24 hours in advance. It can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to serve.
How long is cranberry sauce good for?
Great news here: sauces like this do very well in the fridge.
In fact, homemade cranberry sauce can typically be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to three to four days.
Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
Yes! Due to the high sugar content in cranberry sauce, it will keep it’s texture and flavor very well once frozen.
Once frozen, cranberry sauce should remain good for one to two months.
Should you serve cranberry sauce warm or cold?
In the end, this comes down to personal preference, but to give you some ideas of how to decide:
- A warm sauce will be more liquid and may be better if you’re serving it to be eaten with other foods, like drizzling cranberry sauce over turkey.
- A chilled cranberry sauce might work best when served as a side dish, designed to be enjoyed on its own like creamed corn or green beans.
How long can you leave out cranberry sauce?
Whenever you’ve served perishable food, you should always keep track of how long it sits at room temperature. This can be especially tricky when hosting a holiday dinner.
For most foods, the general rule of thumb is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone”, this is usually at or just above room temperature.
If you serve this sauce warm, that should give you another 30-60 minutes before needing to keep track of the time. So, in total, this sauce can be left out for an absolute maximum of three hours, depending on the temperature of the room. However, be sure to still check the sauce every now and then and use your best judgment on its condition. Once you pass the recommended time, you can warm it up in the microwave again. For best results, I’d recommend using a warming tray so that the cranberry sauce stays warm and above the “danger zone” temperature.
If you’re serving this sauce cold, try to keep it out for two hours or less. After that point, you can chill the sauce for another 30 minutes or so, then serve again.
More great sauce recipes
How to make homemade cranberry sauce
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Toss the fresh cranberries, water, orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, maple syrup, apples, and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan.
Step 2 – Stir everything well.
Step 3 – Allow sauce to simmer until cranberries begin to burst and the sauce turns a creamy dark red color.
Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!
Cranberry Sauce with Apple, Orange, and Cinnamon
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, maple syrup, apples, cinnamon stick, and water.12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, 1/2 cup orange juice, 3 tablespoons orange zest, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 large apple, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 cup water
- Bring sauce to a boil and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Sauce has finished cooking when cranberries have have burst, giving the sauce it’s trademark thick texture. Before removing from heat, taste test the sauce; if sauce is too tart, add 1 tablespoon of syrup or brown sugar until desired sweetness is reached.
- Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.