I’ve never made cranberry sauce that doesn’t come out of a cab. I actually find fresh cranberries intimidating. It’s hard to imaging those firm berries becoming the traditional Thanksgiving side dish – and without a blender. But somehow it works.
This recipe is simple but has tons of flavor thanks to the addition of my beau’s fave fruit, pineapple. Start with a can of pineapple chunks (16 or 20 oz). Drain the juice into a measuring cup. You’ll need a cup of liquid total so if there’s not enough juice in the can, add some water til you get to 1 c. Heat the juice with 1 c. sugar, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Add a bag of cranberries (usually 12 oz) and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer away while the cranberries burst and turn into a sauce. This could take 10-20 minutes. Once it looks like cranberry sauce, add the pineapples (most or all of the can, depending on which size you bought). The chunks might be slightly too big, but crushed pineapples will be too fine – you want the texture. I recommend giving the chunks a rough chop so they’re in halves or thirds. If you happen to have a bit of Grand Marnier lying around, add a dash or two of that. Zest an orange right into the pot and stir into the mixture. Remove from the heat and bring to room temp/slightly chilled before serving.
One good thing about cranberry sauce is that it can be made 2 days in advance so it won’t cause you any stress as you try to cook the rest of your Thanksgiving meal – you can cross his one off the list early. I’m not into nuts in things so I didn’t include them, but I recognize most people don’t feel the same so my original recipe included chopped walnuts – feel free to add them if you’d like.
It’s magic how this goes from hard, light colored berries to oozy goozy, gem colored sauce. I honestly thought there’s was no way this would work, but then it totally transformed. It was also super easy – there is zero reason to rely on the canned stuff this Thanksgiving.