A quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice. This is a simple, three ingredient, fresh cranberry orange sauce recipe made with maple syrup and no refined sugar.
To make this fresh cranberry sauce, you only need three ingredients:
- Cranberries - these should be fresh cranberries. You can use frozen, but allow these to defrost first. Working with frozen fruit, you may find that the cooking times will vary as the fruit will need less heat to break down.
- Orange juice - this can be store bought or fresh squeezed from an orange. I like to use an orange in this recipe so that I can also use the zest to add a bit extra citrus punch. If using store bought, ensure that you use fresh and not from concentrate.
- Maple syrup - the maple syrup is used to add sweetness to the sauce. The quality and type of syrup you use will have an impact on the overall flavour of the sauce. I like to use a dark maple syrup for added richness.
Making Quick Cranberry Orange Sauce
This three ingredient orange cranberry sauce recipe couldn't be simpler!
Start by putting the maple syrup and orange juice in a saucepan over a medium heat. I like to start by heating this until just beginning to simmer (about 5 minutes). Then add the cranberries (and orange zest if using).
Stir the mixture and continue cooking over a medium heat. Press the cranberries occasionally with the spoon as you continue cooking. This will help to break these down into your sauce. As the berries begin to break down, stir more continuously to avoid burning as the sauce thickens.
After about 15 minutes, your cranberries should be broken down and the sauce thickened (similar to a jam). Now, remove the pan from the heat and decant the cranberry orange relish into a heat proof bowl or jar to allow it to cool. The sauce is then ready to serve immediately or store until ready for use.
Tips and Tricks
- Heat the syrup and juice first. While you can technically just add everything to the pan at once, heating the syrup and juice will help your berries to release more quickly, once added, and will give you a better fresh cranberry flavour for your relish.
- Use fresh orange juice, not from concentrate! Using fresh juice is important here - it will give you a stronger orange flavour than juice from concentrate, which will have a lot of excess water and often other preservatives.
- Stir continuously once the berries begin to break down. This will avoid any of the skins catching on the bottom of the pan and burning.
Yes! This is a cranberry relish recipe made with orange juice. The orange juice gives a slight zest to the berries and compliments the flavour without overshadowing the star ingredient: fresh cranberries.
My cranberry orange relish is best kept in a jar or covered/sealed bowl in the refrigerator. It should last for about 10 days stored in the refrigerator without issue. If making further in advance, I recommend freezing the sauce. This is because the sauce in this recipe is not canned for a more lengthy preservation.
Absolutely! This recipe uses maple syrup for the sweetener, meaning this cranberry orange sauce has no added refined sugar.
Don't have maple syrup? Don't worry! You can also use honey or agave in this recipe. These will impact the overall flavour - especially certain honeys as these do have strong flavours.
Feeling Festive? Try:
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup maple syrup (see note)
- ⅓ cup orange juice either store bought or fresh squeezed from a large orange
- orange zest optional (see note)
- Begin by placing the orange juice and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the cranberries and orange zest (if using) and stir to coat.
- Cook the mixture over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring and pressing the cranberries to help these break down.
- After 15 minutes, you should have a thick cranberry sauce, similar to a jam consistency. Remove this from the heat and decant into a jar or heat proof bowl to cool.