I’m really stumped on what to call this cranberry sauce. I called it sugar-free cranberry sauce because it IS free of traditional refined sugar. But it does have maple syrup in it, so does that really count as sugar-free? I don’t know. But what I do know is that this cranberry sauce is super simple and naturally sweetened. Can you really go wrong with that? If you can, I don’t want to know about it, ok? 🙂
You need three simple ingredients for this cranberry sauce – fresh cranberries, apple cider, and maple syrup. That’s it. No fancy flavorings, herbs, ginger, or orange peels (although those all sound delicious, what was I thinking?) – just straight up cranberries with the subtle counterpoint of apple. I like to keep it simple, but honestly, I’m hoping that my Dad, a straight-out-of-the-can cranberry sauce kind of a guy, will give this a go. Maybe he’ll even like it. I can dream, can’t I?
To make the sauce, all you have to do is cover the cranberries with apple cider and maple syrup in a small, wide saucepan, then bring to a boil. Once the cranberries start to burst open, reduce the heat to medium-high and let the apple cider and maple syrup reduce down with cranberries. After about 15 minutes, the liquids will become a thick syrup, and that’s when it’s time to turn down the heat and let things simmer down.
When the sauce has cooled, transfer it into a serving dish or store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready for it. It will look like this.
Personally, I am not a fan of the color pink. And some could argue that this color is a very deep shade of pink. My favorite color is purple, but it used to be red, so in a way this is like all of my favorite colors converging. Plus Vida’s favorite color IS pink (and she likes to inform us of this fact every day), so it’s really a win for both of us. All of that to say, I find this color simply gorgeous. What do you think? And what’s your favorite color? We’re all going to get to know each other here on this post about cranberry sauce.
So, if you are in need of a cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving!), and don’t want to get it from a can, I hope you’ll give this a try! If you do, please let me know how it goes here in the comments, or tag #eatwithinyourmeans on Instagram! I’ll be tickled purple.
Simple Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
- 1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or more to taste)
- In small saucepan, pour in enough apple cider to just cover the cranberries (typically around 2 cups, but you may need a little more), and add the maple syrup.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the cranberries have started to break down and the cider and syrup have reduced into a thick syrup.
- Let cool, and enjoy!