Your Thanksgiving table won’t be complete without a gorgeous side of homemade cranberry sauce. Forget the canned stuff and make our Crock-Pot holiday cranberry sauce, a lovely recipe adapted from Heather’s Dish.
Ridiculously easy and insanely delicious, this berry sweet holiday sauce is bright with cranberry tartness, perfectly sweetened with sugar, and warmly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The addition of orange zest, orange juice and a shot of Grand Marnier lends a welcome citrus flavor. A sprig of fresh rosemary gives the sauce a mysterious essence that will make your guests think you’re a gourmet cook. The big bonus is that all of the ingredients are conveniently cooked in the Crock-Pot, giving you more room on the stovetop for other holiday dishes.
What is Grand Marnier, you ask? It is a lush citrus liqueur made with premium blend cognac — a high-quality brandy distilled in the town of Cognac in western France — and exotic Caribbean Seville oranges. Grand Marnier is a full-fledged 80-proof spirit and is an essential ingredient in the classic sidecar cocktail, as well as flambé fuel for the famous crepes Suzette, an iconic French dessert featuring crepes that are doused with Grand Marnier and are briefly set aflame.
Savvy substitute: If you can’t find Grand Marnier, you can swap in Cointreau, which is another orange-based liqueur. If you don’t have other uses for Grand Marnier or Cointreau, both of these liqueurs come in single-serve bottles, which are less costly than a standard-sized bottle. For a non-alcoholic swap, substitute orange juice concentrate.
The Crock-Pot makes this holiday sauce an easy feat. All of the ingredients go into the pot at one time and cook without any stirring required. Combine the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange juice, orange zest, Grand Marnier and rosemary in the Crock-Pot.
Cook the cranberry sauce
Cover the Crock-Pot and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. As the cranberry sauce simmers, the berries will pop and release juice. The juice deliciously thickens and becomes a syrup.
Refrigerate to cool
Remove the sprig of rosemary. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the sauce has cooled and thickened slightly.