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Cranberries divide Thanksgiving diners into two clear camps: Those who prefer a chunky compote and those who like a sliceable condiment that jiggles. This cranberry-orange sauce is for the first group. Bright citrus and warming cinnamon are the complements cranberries look for this time of the year, and navel oranges conveniently come into season just in time for the holiday. First blanching the citrus in boiling water removes any bitterness from the peel and pith. Once you’ve added the cranberries to the pan, don’t stray far from the stove. They scorch easily and thicken quickly because they contain a lot of natural pectin, a key ingredient used in jam-making.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published October 16, 2018.


Makes about 2½ cups


medium navel orange, seeds removed, chopped


lb. fresh (or frozen) cranberries


cup sugar


Tbsp. unsalted butter


3″-long cinnamon stick


tsp. ground allspice

Pinch of kosher salt


Step 1

Place orange in a large saucepan and pour in cold water to come 1″ up sides of pan. Bring to a boil, then remove immediately from heat and drain orange in a mesh sieve or colander. Rinse under cold water; return to saucepan. Add cranberries, sugar, butter, cinnamon, allspice, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

Step 2

Cook, stirring often and reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until cranberries burst, juices are syrupy, and pan is visible when a wooden spoon is dragged across the bottom, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

Step 3

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

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