Cranberry-Apricot Sauce

8 servings
30 min

Cranberry sauce, a staple of the holiday table, has frequently been the center of debate: jellied vs. sauce? This recipe may tilt the argument in favor of sauce because it adds a new twist: apricot.

You may be among those who already tart up your sauce with oranges. We’re keeping the oranges and upping the ante. Now, with apricots, we’re taking it, in Buzz Lightyear’s words, “To infinity and beyond!”

To start, grate the zest from one orange (about 2

teaspoons). To a medium saucepan, add this plus the juice from two oranges. Then,

add a pound of cranberries plus some chopped up dried apricots, some apricot

preserves and sugar.

A note about zesting: when zesting any citrus, try to get only the colored part of the peel. The white part is the most bitter, which you don’t want.

Also, I like to zest with the fruit under the zester and zest from the top. In this picture I am dragging the zester toward myself. It looks upside-down, but the advantage is that you can clearly see how much zest you have made and it is all in one place instead of scattering all around. Very useful for those recipes that want a specific measurement.

Heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, at which point the cranberries will burst and the sauce will thicken.

And you’re done! Serve warm or at room temperature.

Added option: Since I had juiced a second orange I decided to make a little more zest from that peel, just to dress it up a little.

Try it! Your guests will be so impressed, saying to each other “whoa, check out that zest!” Ok, maybe not, but it does accentuate that THIS sauce did NOT come from a can…

Keep in mind, this can be made a day ahead of time reducing your holiday hustle or bustle (or both). Whatever you do, be sure to save/freeze the leftovers. Cranberry sauce is useful in lots of different recipes; try making a Cranberry Sauce Cocktail or Cranberry Sauce Bars! 😀

We’re turning up the tart! And you can still claim bragging rights to homemade sauce.

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1 lb fresh cranberries rinsed and picked over
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup sugar

From one orange, grate 2 teaspoons zest into a medium saucepan. Juice both oranges (approximately one cup total juice) and add to saucepan.
Add cranberries, apricots, preserves and sugar. Heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sula **
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  • Claire Laflèche Claire Laflèche on Nov 25, 2021

    Thanks for the recipe. I like my cranberry sauce on the tart side. Can I use less sugar or will that affect thickness or consistency of the sauce?

  • Dixie Dixie on Nov 26, 2021

    I'm going to try this but your tip about ZESTING is absolutely the greatest! You go, girl!