orange-cranberry sauce

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orange-cranberry sauce

Serves: 12

Prep time: 15 mins. Chilling: Overnight

Skill level: easy

Cooking method: Stove


  • 1 1/4 lb. fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. fresh orangejuice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. unflavored gelatin


Step 1) In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, salt and 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the cranberries have burst, 25 to 35 minutes. Note: The sauce should measure no more than 3 3/4 cups. 

Step 2) Meanwhile, pour the remaining 2 Tbs. water into a bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand until the gelatin softens and swells, 5 to 10 minutes. 

Step 3) Spoon 3/4 cup of the hot juices from the cranberries into the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin has dissolved. If you prefer a sauce with a smoother texture, transfer the remaining cranberry mixture to a food processor and pulse for 2 seconds (10 to 15 times), then proceed as directed.

Step 4) Pour the gelatin mixture into the cranberry mixture and whisk to combine. Lightly coat the inside of a ceramic mold with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the cranberry mixture into the prepared mold and let cool to room temperature. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. 

Step 5)To unmold, set the mold in a large bowl of warm water (115° to 120°F) so the water reaches almost to the rim of the mold. Let stand for 30 seconds, then remove the mold from the water. Carefully insert a small offset spatula or paring knife along the side of the mold. Gently pull the gelatin away from the mold to release the suction, then remove the spatula. Place a serving platter upside down on top of the mold and invert the platter and mold together. Remove the plug. Gently shake the mold until you hear the gelatin begin to release, then lift off the mold. If the gelatin does not release, replace the plug and return the mold to the warm water for 15 seconds, then repeat the steps as directed above. Serves 14 to 18.

grandpa’s thoughts:

I’ve made this, every Thanksgiving for over 20 years. Our family looks forward to this cranberry sauce with our turkey. It’s just a little touch that taste great and makes for a fun Thanksgiving tradition.

Grandpa Note: you can find ceramic molds online or you may have something around the kitchen that will work. Just make sure you get one big enough that will hold the sauce.

Grandpa Note: You can make this a few days ahead of Thanksgiving.