The world’s best cranberry sauce

You might think I’m overly confident, but facts are facts; I make the world’s best cranberry sauce and yes I do have many people who will back that up. I’ve received many of my most enthusiastic comments from people who’ve always hated cranberry sauce in the past, but found themselves loving mine. It’s not too sweet and not too tart. It doesn’t have weird thing floating in it or a weird gelatinous texture and it highlights the flavor of fresh cranberries.

My cranberry sauce recipe is not only my best, it’s also my oldest. When I was a kid, it was my job to make the cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving. We always used the basic recipe on the back of the bag of cranberries which consisted of cranberries, water and sugar. That recipe is actually quite tasty, but as my love of cooking grew I started experimenting more. About 10 years ago I finally perfected the recipe and I’m very proud of it.

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Alli’s Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • Zest of 2 large oranges
  • 2 12oz bags cranberries
  • 2 large oranges, supremed then roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Grande Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
  • Large pinch of kosher salt

In a large Dutch oven combine water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and orange zest and stir to dissolve sugar. Set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

Stir in remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil.

Reduce heat and allow to gently boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool completely then refrigrate several hours, preferably overnight

Cranberry sauce can be made several days in advance as sugar acts as a perservative.

Serves 10-12


10 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 6

Today I’m thankful for experiences that I’ve had living in various cities.

It should come as no surprise to you that New York is my favorite place in the world, but New York is not my adventure as it is for many people. I grew up in the suburbs, but growing up all of my grandparents lived in Brooklyn, my dad worked (and still works) in midtown. Weekends were often filled with trips to the city to go to Broadway shows or museums and even school trips often took us in to the city. So while I wasn’t raised a city girl, New York City still very much felt like my home.

As much as I’ve always loved New York City and as much as I knew I’d end up back here some day, I also knew that I would regret it if I never experienced anything different. I went to college in Providence, RI and fell madly in love with that city. I lived and worked therefor a couple of years after college as well and without the safety net of school, I really felt like I made that city my own. After I graduated college, I spent 6 months living in Copenhagen, Denmark and it became my second home. It was amazing to take a flying leap out of my comfort zone and in to a new culture. At some point after my second stint in Providence, I became a bit restless and ready to move on, but I wasn’t quite ready to come home yet so, on a whim, I decided to move to Boston where I met a group of amazing friends who remain some of the closest people in my life.

I am so thankful that I’ve been able to experience life in different cities and I would urge anyone else to do the same. Even if you love where you live, if you ever have the opportunity to spend even a few months living somewhere else I say go do it!

6 comments on “The world’s best cranberry sauce

  1. Very nice! I am always impressed with homemade cranberry sauce. I am not one of those people, but that’s because my focus is on making my grandmother’s stuffing! Love the GM in it.

  2. iris says:

    I always sort of loved the gelatinous texture 😉 But it looks like this one might be good enough to be worth a try!

    • Alli says:

      When I was a kid, my mom would sometimes pop open a can of cranberry sauce and serve it with dinner and I loved it. A few years ago I tried it again expecting to still love it and… well… not so much.

  3. I should ask my mom if she has shopped for ingredients for our cranberry sauce – if she hasn’t, I will offer to make it, and if she has, I will make it for Christmas as I know any recipe endorsed by you is as good one!! Do you just eat your cranberry sauce plain? I do, but I think it would be good as spread on a sandwich with leftover turkey!

    You are lucky to have had the chance to live in other cities! I haven’t lived in all that many – just my hometown in ND, my college town, Minneapolis, and then the coolest was the beach town in Australia when i was studying abroad. I do wish I had had an opportunity to live in Paris for 3-6 months, but I don’t see that happening for me due to my career and where I am at in my life right now. But it’s a nice thought. 😉 And maybe when I am retired in like 1,000 years I can spend part of a year in Paris. 🙂

    • Alli says:

      Or maybe you’ll win the lottery and buy an apartment in Paris where you can spend a few months each year 😉

      I love eating the leftover cranberry sauce on leftover turkey sandwiches the next day. For non-thanksgiving meals this cranberry sauce also works great with pork loin. You just do a super simple pork loin (seared on the stove top, then finished in the oven), slice it up and serve it with some cranberry sauce spooned on top.

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