Mastering Cranberry Sauce with Rebecca Ireland

Mastering Cranberry Sauce with Rebecca Ireland

The Thanksgiving table isn't complete without homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberries are native to North America, and Native American tribes were likely using them in various ways long before the arrival of Europeans. However, the specific history of cranberry sauce in the context of Thanksgiving in the United States is more recent.

The use of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving became more widespread in the 19th century. Commercially canned cranberry sauce first appeared in the early 1900s. The availability of canned cranberry sauce made it easier for people to incorporate this tart and flavorful condiment into their Thanksgiving meals but if you don't want the canned version here's a simple and decadent version you can impress your guests with!



  •  cup sugar (133g)
  •  cup light brown sugar, tightly packed (67g)
  •  cup water (78ml)
  •  cup fresh squeezed juice of an orange (157ml)
  • 2 TBS orange zest
  • 12 oz cranberries rinsed and picked through -- bad ones ones removed (340g)
  • 3/4 cup chipped walnuts or roasted pecans (you may omit this if your prefer nut-free or have allergy's) (170g)


  • Combine sugars, water, and orange juice in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugars are dissolved, and bring to a boil.  
  • Add cranberries along with orange zest and return to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook cranberries, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes or until all or most berries have burst (careful, they may splatter) and the mixture is slightly reduced. The longer you cook your cranberries the thicker your mixture will be, but it will also thicken up after standing.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.-
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  
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