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Course: Sides & Salads
Keyword: Cranberry Sauce

Just Cranberry Sauce

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 8
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) light agave syrup
  • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) honey
  • 2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) 100% cranberry juice, not cocktail
  • 2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 4 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • Butter lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • candied ginger, thinly sliced, for serving

Specialized Hardware

Digital kitchen scale
1 3-cup silicone mold, or several smaller molds
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 8


  • Combine the agave syrup, honey, cranberry juice, orange juice, and five-spice powder in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a steady simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries, boost the heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, until most of the cranberries have burst open and the mixture has thickened. Do not cook beyond 15 minutes or the pectin will start to break down. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Spoon the cranberry sauce into the silicone mold (or molds) and cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, overnight would be even better. (See note)
  • Turn the mold onto a plate lined with lettuce leaves and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of candied ginger.
Note: Just for giggles, I often mold my cranberry sauce in a leftover 14-oz size can so that when I serve it, my guests think I just plopped the stuff out of a can, which is essentially true. But then they taste it. It's like a magic trick.
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