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Orange-Maple Cranberry Sauce

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Serves 10

Yields about 2 cups

  • by Ellie Krieger from Fine Cooking
    Issue 119

Pure maple syrup makes all the difference here, so avoid artificially flavored syrup. Cooking the cranberries just until they burst prevents the sauce from becoming too thick.

  • 1 12-oz. package fresh or frozen cranberries (about 3 cups), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 medium orange, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest, squeezed to yield 1/3 cup juice

Combine the cranberries, maple syrup, and orange juice in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the cranberries burst, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the zest, and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 100; Fat (g): 0; Fat Calories (kcal): 0; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 0; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): 25; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 0; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have to be up-front honest here: I might not be able to rate a cranberry sauce recipe fairly because I am always comparing it to my "usual" sauce (a ginger-pear cranberry sauce). I decided to give this a try because one of my guests wasn't fond of ginger. It was OK, but didn't elicit the usual compliments I get for my standard version. I found the maple flavour a bit strong and the orange didn't shine through as much as I was expecting.

Have you ever looked at a recipe and thought "ho-hum", then had the food turn out shockingly good? Well, I have made a lot of different cranberry sauces-- plain, with wine, etc.-- so I thought this one would be similar. I also worried that the cranberries and orange would overwhelm the subtle maple flavors. To my surprise (and delight, of course), this cranberry sauce really delivers-- the flavors combine in some subtle, possibly synergistic way to make a really compelling sauce. As an added bonus, it's easy to make. My new standard!

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