As a little girl, I never liked whole cranberries and on Thanksgiving I always preferred the canned jellied cranberry sauce over the fresh cranberries my mom or my aunt made. Now that I’m a bit older and my palate is a little more refined, I prefer to make fresh cranberry sauce for my Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, it’s probably my favorite part! I’ve been known to make tortas de pavo topped with arándanos the whole week after Thanksgiving just to have an excuse to keep eating them.
This recipe has been passed on through two generations in my family, and now I’d like to share it with you. If you’ve ever been afraid that making cranberry sauce from scratch would be too difficult, you’re in good company. This recipe, though, is so easy that you won’t believe you didn’t try making your own with fresh, whole cranberries sooner. It’s a perfect balance of spicy and sweet. These are great for Thanksgiving or La Navidad, too.
The Mexican cinnamon gives it a more subdued, woody cinnamon taste than traditional cinnamon sticks you find in grocery stores in the U.S. but you can also use those if you can’t find the Mexican kind.
Fresh cranberry sauce | Salsa de arándanos
1 ¼ cup sugar
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 Mexican cinnamon sticks
1 12oz. bag of fresh cranberries
zest of 1 orange
Combine everything except cranberries and orange zest. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat and stir until syrup is clear, about 3-4 minutes.
Add cranberries and stir occasionally until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and add orange zest. Bring to room temperature, transfer to a glass bowl, cover & refrigerate. This recipe can be served warm or cold and tastes even better the day after it’s made.
Maura Hernandez is the author of the Mexican cooking, culture and travel blog, The Other Side of The Tortilla.