Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Chile Piquin is a recipe I developed years ago that has now become a holiday tradition. As we grow our own oranges here at the ranch and chile piquin grow wild along the stone wall that surrounds our house, I confess the recipe is not very creative. During the winter holiday months, oranges and chile piquin are worked into so many of our dishes that cranberry sauce seemed like a good fit.
Spice up your holiday meal!
Of course, the chile piquin make Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Chile Piquin extra spicy. However after decades of the same old bird with gravy, a spicy cranberry sauce was such a welcome change. We love this recipe and make it every year!
Even though chile piquin grow wild around the ranch, they are occasionally available in supermarkets. Tiny and fiery hot, they hold their own when paired with the strong tangy flavor of cranberries. If you can’t find chile piquin in your supermarket, you can always substitute red pepper flakes or even a pinch of ground cayenne pepper in your cranberry sauce. Whatever you find to spice up your cranberries will add life to the your traditional (and perhaps tired) holiday menu.
Leftovers are no problem when you have this versatile side dish on hand. Grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches are absolutely divine when dunked into this sauce. We love it on roasted chicken, which is what i enjoyed after this photo shoot!
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Chile Piquin is delicious!
This recipe is undersweetened on purpose. If the cranberry sauce is too tangy for you, add 1/4 cup (50g) more granulated sugar for extra sweetness. The main trick with making Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Chile Piquin is to make it a day in advance so the flavors have a chance to settle and blend. Also, I like to garnish the sauce with fresh thyme along with orange zest.
From all of us here at the ranch, Happy Holidays!
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Chile Piquin
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups (480ml) 1x
16 oz fresh cranberries (480g)
1 cup water (240ml)
¾ cup sugar (150g)
1 orange for zest and juice
3–6 fresh or dried chile piquin, finely ground or ½ tsp red pepper flakes (2g)
Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
In a 1 qt/1lt saucepan, combine cranberries, water, sugar and 1 tsp. (2g) of grated orange zest from the orange. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat, pressing the cranberries so that they burst. Stir well and then remove from the heat.
Using a mortar and pestle, or a molcajete, grind the chile piquin or red pepper flakes into a fine powder.
Cut and squeeze the orange, releasing the juice into the bowl of the mortar/molcajete. Stir the orange juice so that it picks up all of the chile powder. Pour the liquid into the cranberry sauce and stir well.
Allow to cool and then serve. Garnish with orange zest (and fresh thyme.) Best when made 1 day in advance of serving.