Norwitz Notions

Norwitz Notions random header image

Homemade Cranberry Sauce (without oranges)

December 1st, 2008 · by Cyndi · 3 Comments

So what’s wrong with cranberry sauce made with oranges, you ask? Nothing. It’s delicious. But the slightest trace of oranges makes my daughter sick for hours. So I developed a version with lemons instead. I think it works better than oranges for cutting fatty foods and providing a clean crisp taste. You will need to add slightly more sugar/sweetener to this recipe to make up for the lack of sugar from the citrus.

Cranberry sauce is one of those dishes that is so easy to make I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it. Especially given that the canned stuff is so bland and without texture.  You do want to use organic cranberries here, as chemically-grown berries tend to be high in pesticides.  2008 was not a good year for cranberries and they were horribly expensive.  Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of them (1 lb served over a dozen people).

This recipe freezes extremely well. It also lasts in the fridge for a long time. I froze a batch leftover from Thanksgiving 2006 and served it for Thanksgiving 2007 with very little reduction in taste or texture.  I used the recipe again for Thanksgiving 2008.


Fresh cranberries, 1 bag (about 16 oz)
Fresh lemon zest from 2 small lemons (organic only)
Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (2 if not juicy)
Fresh ginger root, grated, 1-3 teaspoons
Salt, pinch
Stevia, pinch or two (optional)
Organic cane sugar, as desired
Water as needed

In 2008 I used 3 TB sugar and no stevia and ended up with perfect sauce that was not very sweet (which is how we like it).  In 2006/7 I used a bit less sugar and some stevia.  In 2008 I also used 3 TB water to thin out the sauce a bit.  How much water you need (if any) will vary a lot based on how juicy the berries are, how much you cook it, how much sugar you use, etc.

Rinse the cranberries in water and drain.

Put into an empty pot on the stove and heat gently while stirring until the cranberries start to soften.

Zesting a lemon over cranberries

Zesting a lemon over cranberries

Add stevia and sugar to desired sweetness. The stevia is optional but will help reduce the overall sugar level. I end up using about half of what is called for in a traditional cranberry sauce that also has a sugar boost from orange juice. Don’t use all or mostly stevia as the dish will be too bitter (I love stevia but it doesn’t mesh well with lemons).

Add salt, lemon, and ginger.

Stir and cook until the cranberries start to pop open and the texture is to your liking. Mash a bit if you wish or leave mostly whole. Adjust sweeteners/seasoning if needed.  If the flavors aren’t coming together, you probably need a touch of salt.

This cranberry sauce makes a great traditional accompaniment to turkey or other Thanksgiving fixings. It’s also good as leftovers with a variety of foods as a condiment. Miriam enjoyed dipping carrots in it. And for Thanksgiving 2007, some people ate it straight as a dessert.

Finished cranberry sauce

Finished cranberry sauce

Note: Recipe rewritten with new pictures 11/08.


Categories: Desserts · Food · Places to Go · Recipes · Religion & Holidays · Spreads & Dips · Thanksgiving
Tags: · , , , , ,

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 An Organic Thanksgiving | Norwitz Notions // Feb 1, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    […] brought five offerings, all homemade (from scratch), organic, and vegan: 1) Cranberry sauce (made with lemon instead of orange due to my daughter’s allergy); 2) pumpkin pie with a pecan […]

  • 2 Yorick // Feb 4, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I never make cranberry sauce with oranges and I’m often told it’s the best that people have tasted. I use white grape juice instead of citrus and maple syrup.

  • 3 Thanksgiving 2008 | Norwitz Notions // Dec 11, 2008 at 11:31 am

    […] Organic cranberry sauce made with lemon instead of orange. […]

Leave a Comment