Being completely honest, I have never actually helped make a Thanksgiving dinner before today. It seems that we were always either going to our friends’ house for the holiday or visiting a relative’s location. But this year, I traveled to my grandmother’s home in Tucson, Arizona for Thanksgiving, and I insisted on contributing. I decided on making cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey gravy and sweet potatoes. 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 completely disappear!
I have never really been a fan of cranberry sauce and decided to try it because it is such a critical part of the Thanksgiving holiday tradition. Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than I imagined. Only after eating it did I realize that the reason I never liked cranberry sauce was because it was always from a jar or can. This recipe is a traditional, simple cranberry sauce, but ended up tasting so smooth, flavorful and fruity. The lemon definitely adds a kick of flavor that the cranberry sauce usually lacks.
In advance, this recipe is very sweet and tastes more like a fruit-based, dessert-like side dish rather than a savory sauce. 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.