Cranberry sauce is a tradition at the holidays. There’s just something about the festive red hue that makes the dinner table complete. The sauce is sweet and tart which helps balance the rich and decadent dishes usually served at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes, it’s easier to open a can of cranberry sauce and slide it into a bowl, but you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to make your own. With a few fresh ingredients you can whip up a bowl of homemade cranberry sauce that everyone will be impressed with. I’ve added pears, orange zest, a hint of cinnamon and vanilla to add texture and another layer of flavor. The best part is that you can make this up to a week in advance. Just store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. In fact, I just made this side dish Monday morning before work. It’s in my fridge right now waiting for Thursday. Yay, one dish down and many more to go!
Cranberry Pear Sauce
Prep: 5 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
12 oz of fresh cranberries
3 pears, peeled, cored and cubed (about the size of the cranberries)
zest of 1 orange (about 1 Tbs)
juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 C)
1/2 C water
¾ C sugar
3 Tbs brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Bring orange juice, orange zest, water and sugar to a boil in a non-stick pot over medium high heat.
Add cranberries, pears and cinnamon and bring back to a boil. Once the mixture is at a boil reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes. At this point the sauce should thicken and the cranberries will start to burst. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with more orange zest if you like.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with laughter, love and joy!