There’s nothing quite like homemade cranberry sauce as a colorful and tart addition to your holiday spread. Cape Cod is home to several cranberry bogs, with the harvest season running from early September to mid-November. This makes cranberry sauce something of a regional specialty. Cranberry sauce is relatively quick and easy to make, and the homemade version is so much better than the canned variety.

This recipe was adapted from the Plimoth Plantation cookbook, although I omitted raisins (not my favorite). You can adjust the add-ins and spices to your own liking.


  • Bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ C raisins (optional)
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ C water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (½ tsp ground cinnamon works too)
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • Orange for zesting (optional)


In a large saucepan, heat cranberries, brown sugar, raisins, vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves, salt and 3/4 cup water to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 6 minutes.

Add diced apple and cook until most of the cranberries pop and mixture thickens slightly, about 4 minutes longer. If you are using orange zest, add it towards the end of cooking.

Discard cinnamon stick (if using). Spoon into a serving dish and refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 3 hours.