Being completely honest, I have never actually helped make a thanksgiving dinner before. It seems that I am always either going to someone else’s house who already has the dinner ready, eating out or staying at a relative’s house who wants to make the dinner themselves. But this year, I travelled to my grandmother’s home Arizona for Thanksgiving and insisted on making a few dishes. I ultimately decided on making cranberry sauce, stuffing from scratch, gravy and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I couldn’t have been prouder of the dishes that I made (except for the gravy which was a total disaster hahaha) and all three dishes were the first to go!
I have never really been a fan of cranberry sauce and decided to make it simply due to holiday tradition. Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than I ever imagined and only after eating it did I realized that the reason why I never liked cranberry sauce was because it was always from a jar or can. This recipe is the traditional, simple cranberry sauce, but ended up tasting so smooth flavorful and fruity. The lemon definitely adds a different aspect of flavor that the cranberry sauce lacks.
In advance, this recipe is very sweet and tastes more like a fruit-based, dessert-like side than a savory dish. If you want to tone the sweetness down a little, simply add less sugar.
1 cup sugar
12 oz bag fresh cranberry
1 tsp of lemon zest
2 tbsp water
1. Empty the cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup of them to a seperate small bowl.
2. Add sugar, lemon zest and water to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries become soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the 1/2 cup of reserved cranberries. Add more sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.