Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce

What turkey or roasted chicken feast would be complete without cranberry sauce? I’m not talking about the gelatinous sort that comes out of the can with a loud SLURP! sound and that resembles a jello experiment on steroids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that mind you, however, with the bounty of fresh cranberries that are usually readily available and the ease and little effort that’s required to make fresh cranberry sauce, why wouldn’t you forgo the can?

This has been my go-to cranberry sauce recipe for the last several years after having made it the very first time and I had an epiphany. “Holy cow! Fresh cranberry sauce is DELICIOUS and to boot, it’s deliriously easy to make!” Yes, in that moment I realized that the most delicious of cranberry sauces was within my grasp and that it was so easy to concoct that even my 7yr old could do it (outside of the handling of a hot pot on a stove part, of course).

If I haven’t impressed upon you yet just how easy this is to make, let’s try switching gears for a second and let’s talk about how it actually tastes. The canned variety is usually somewhat sweet with some tartness to it and is texturally similar to jello with some minor graininess. Our cranberry sauce employs whole cranberries which gives you a nice variety of textures…sauce with some soft berries mixed in between. I think it makes for a light and refreshing feeling sauce and probably looks a bit better than the sliced rounds of gelled cranberry sauce 🙂

As you’ve probably surmised from the title, there is also Grand Marnier in this recipe. What I’ve come to learn is that cranberries and oranges are the best of friends at the playground and go great together! We use both orange juice and orange zest to cut through some of the tartness of the cranberries and provide some sweetness that doesn’t border on saccharine while the Grand Marnier gives it a bit of a sophisticated twist.

So for your next poultry night, get ye to the market and grab yourself a bag of cranberries and get to work! You’ll never go back to the canned stuff again!

Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appétit | March 1995

Yields 2 cups


1 12oz package fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 medium orange
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liqueur


Place cranberries in medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Sprinkle in sugar. Add in the zest of the orange and then its juice. Heat pan over medium heat until juices form and cranberries are very soft, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in liqueur and pour into a glass serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until very cold and slightly thickened, about 4 hours. Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.


~ by tastydesu on January 3, 2011.

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