Whole Citrus-Cranberry Sauce

20181118_134750I think it is a law that we’re supposed to have cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.  And pumpkin pie.  Somehow if word got out that these weren’t served, you might be hauled into the public square to be lashed with a wet noodle.  It’s serious.

20181117_135755(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

When I was a kid, my mom would usually get the canned cranberry jelly.  It looked kind of neat in its cylindrical shape, but oddly weird at the same time.  When fresh cranberries started to become more common at the grocery store, I decided the time had come to make my own.

20181117_135856Plain cranberries are pretty yucky.  Each one of my boys had to test this out for themselves to see if I was telling them the truth about how sour they were.  I’m not sure why they didn’t believe me.  They had to test out fresh olives, too.  Yes, they are those kinds of kids.

If you have lots of fresh citrus like oranges, lemons, and limes, I have a great (and easy!) marmalade recipe for you!

After a few years of trying different approaches, I finally came up with this recipe.  Just a little tart, a hint of citrus flavor, and a texture that allows it to be eaten plain or heaped onto slabs of turkey.  Now I don’t have to worry about those wet noodle lashes!


Whole Citrus-Cranberry Sauce Recipe


  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange or other citrus marmalade
  • 1 cup water


Put all the ingredients into a sauce pot on the stove.  Turn the heat to high until the contents begin to boil, then turn down to medium.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the cranberries have popped and the mixture begins to thicken.  This will be about 5-10 minutes.  I will sometimes press the berries that haven’t split against the side of the pot with the back of the spoon.

Allow the sauce to cool in the refrigerator.  If it is thicker than you would like, just add water a tablespoon at a time until it is the consistency you prefer.  If it is too thin, you can heat it again on the stove to cook it down a little more, then re-chill before serving.  Happy Thanksgiving!


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