All-Natural Honey Cranberry Sauce

The holidays just aren’t complete without a little cranberry sauce. Okay, a lot of cranberry sauce. These tart little bundles add just the right contrast to the mounds of mashed, stuffed and fried starches found at every dinner, potluck and party from Halloween to New Year’s.

The standard image of cranberry sauce is the gelatinous log wriggled straight out of a can and plopped onto a serving dish, but we’re here to remind you that you can do better. You – and some 70 million other American families – deserve better. So, we dug up an all-natural cranberry sauce recipe that’s sweetened with plenty of raw & unfiltered local honey and worthy of the year’s most tantalizing meal.

Note that this recipe uses fresh-squeezed orange or lemon juice. We can’t recommend it enough over the store-bought stuff made from concentrate. The flat acidity of boxed OJ and the bitterness of bottled lemon completely counteract the cranberries’ natural tartness. Squeeze ‘em yourself, and the resulting all-natural tartness will brighten up any dish it touches.

If, however, you’re too nostalgic to give up those sweet can lines, you can can your cran and eat it too. Start with the recipe below, then strain out the seeds and skins and cool the mixture for 12 hours or so in a spare tin can. The results look…surprisingly great. But to us, hunks of real berries make this version a lot more appetizing than the canned alternative––no matter how endearing of a family tradition it may be.

Keep in mind that after your Thanksgiving meal, there are plenty of ways to make the most of any leftover sauce:

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 12 hours chilling.

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients

– 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice

– 1/4 cup 100% cranberry juice, not cocktail

– 1 cup Local Hive Honey

– 1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups

– Apple cider (optional)

– 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

– 1/8 tsp cloves (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash the cranberries, discarding any that are soft or wrinkled.
  2. Combine the orange or lemon juice, cranberry juice, honey and any other ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally until the cranberries break apart and the mixture thickens. Don’t cook for more than 15 minutes. This will break down the pectin in the sauce, preventing it from setting. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a mold or dish. Place it in the refrigerator for six to twelve hours.
  5. Remove the sauce from the fridge, turn over the mold and let the sauce slide out.
  6. Serve by the slice.