Saint Penny Recipe Rotation

Cranberry Sauce

January 19, 2020

My grandfather ate cranberries every year of his life, even through the Great Depression. The first time I made these, I caught him looking at his Thanksgiving plate contemplatively. The way he was looking at that plate was not a way folks tend to examine food. So, nervous, I walked over to see what was up.

“Hey Grandpa, how’s it going? Cranberries alright?” He set his fork down and paused, thinking again. Then finally, he said slowly “90 years, best cranberries.”

So there you go. These earned Grandpa’s seal of approval and now they’re the only ones I make. I like to add cinnamon around the holidays. If you’re doing holiday cooking and have spent vanilla bean pods laying around, you could throw one of those in here as well.

Hope you enjoy these cranberries as much as I do!


  • 12 oz cranberries, rinsed, picked over, and divided
  • 1c minus 3T sugar
  • 2T water
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Pinch cinnamon (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Set aside 2/3 cup cranberries. Add the remainder to a large bottomed saucepan along with sugar, water, and orange zest. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium. Add the cinnamon, if using. Cook until cranberries begin to burst.
  3. Turn off the heat. Stir in reserved cranberries and fold them in carefully, letting the residual heat cook them. Season sauce to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Sauce is done when the new berries are just shy of bursting.

Mary Schmidt aims to bring sunshine and order to the world around her with her cooking.

© 2021