This homemade cranberry sauce recipe is from my sister-in-law. I have never been a fan of cranberry sauce until I had hers!
Do you have any fun plans for Thanksgiving this week? My family and I will be staying home for the holiday. In fact, this is only the second time since I’ve known my husband (about 17 years) that we didn’t have to travel. One year, my family came to my house for Thanksgiving, but that was pre-children.
Reflecting back, I think this might be the only Thanksgiving that we’ll be alone with no extended family. My brother is visiting his brother-in-law’s house, my Dad is in Taiwan, and my in-laws will be with some of their family members. The three of us are staying put.
This year, I am making a mini-feast. Remember, since it’s only the 3 of us, we don’t need a lot of food. We are actually going out for Thanksgiving lunch and will eat something simple that evening for dinner. On Friday, I plan on making our Thanksgiving spread. I ordered a smokey turkey from our favorite meat supplier in Lancaster, PA (trust me, it’s the BEST THING EVER). I plan on making some mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, and green bean casserole.
One of the dishes my mom always enjoyed is my sister-in-law’s cranberry sauce. Before my sister-in-law joined our family, my mom would buy the canned kind from the grocery store. My face always gave a disgusted look when I heard the contents plop onto a plate. As a result, I never had cranberry sauce because it honestly grossed me out.
One year, my sister-in-law brought this homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. My mom and I were hooked. Each and every Thanksgiving since then, my sister-in-law has made it for us. She got the recipe from one of her friends, who was kind enough to share it with us.
This recipe makes a LOT of cranberry sauce. I recommend halving it if you don’t want to share with others or give any way. Half a recipe will be plenty for a small family like ours. It’s tart and sweet, and bursting with complex flavors from the cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, pears and Grand Marnier. Don’t skimp on the sugar because it will be too sweet otherwise.
Sadly, this is the first major holiday without my mom. I hope that she will be with us in spirit to enjoy Thanksgiving and to have a big helping of this cranberry sauce!
- 2 (12 ounce) packages fresh cranberries rinsed and drained
- 2 apples pared, cored and diced
- 2 pears pared, cored and diced
- 2 cups raisins I used currants since that's all I had
- 1 and ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier
- In a large saucepan set over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients together except the Grand Marnier. Allow the mixture to come to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and continue cooking until the cranberries burst and the sauce gets thick. Turn the stove off and stir in the Grand Marnier.
- Allow the sauce to cool slightly before transferring to glass or cool-proof containers. Store in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for at least 4 hours before serving.