Cranberry sauce is a must on the Thanksgiving table, am I right? Okay, so I know some folks don’t like the stuff, but I just uphold they haven’t tried the right stuff yet. And maybe, just maybe, this Maple Spiced Cranberry Sauce is the right stuff! I mean, it could happen, right?
So here’s what we’ve got. Fresh cranberries, of course. Pure maple syrup and a bit of dark brown sugar for both sweetness and rich depth of flavor. And then we come to the “spiced” part of the equation. Cinnamon sticks, of course – cinnamon is so good in cranberry sauce. Cardamom, which gives this Spiced Maple Cranberry Sauce a festive, elevated vibe. Nutmeg, because fall. And ginger and cloves, because they fall perfectly into this equation.
Homemade cranberry sauce benefits from citrus, and usually I’m an orange girl. But in this case, I thought lemon zest might lend a clearer, brighter vibe – plus, lemon and cardamom together are total BFFs. And let me tell you – SUCH A GOOD COMBO. For real.
This Spiced Maple Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make and really elevates your homemade cranberry sauce game. Best of all, you can make it now and refrigerate until the big day. Or double the batch and freeze half for Christmas! Done and done.
Maple Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces about 3 cups fresh cranberries, picked over, shriveled cranberries discarded
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup + more to taste
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Zest from 1 medium lemon (save a little zest for the garnish if desired)
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch ground cloves
- Set a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add water, 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring to a low bowl and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the berries have burst and a sauce has formed, about 12 minutes. Taste and add additional pure maple syrup if desired (some cranberries are tarter than others, so you may need more than the recipe calls for). Remove from heat.
- Remove cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. The pods should be easy to spot because they swell and lighten up when cooking.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve, for up to 10 days. Or place in the freezer for up to 3 months.