Orange-Vanilla Scented Cranberry Sauce


Every Thanksgiving table needs cranberry sauce, don't you think?  Even though we usually just enjoy the chilled cranberry sauce that plops out of the can, I decided that this year, I wanted to try to make my own.  I waited a little too long to buy my cranberries, though.  We went shopping on Tuesday night and I couldn't find a single cranberry in the store, fresh or frozen!  Joel went to the co-op on Wednesday morning and he didn't find any there, either!  Luckily, my mom and dad were shopping at a different grocery store Wednesday afternoon and spotted some.  They picked up a few bags and saved the day!  I adapted the recipe I found on the back of the Ocean Spray Cranberry bag to create an original Fried Ice and Donut Holes version of the Thanksgiving treat.

1 cup Sugar
Juice from 1 Orange (I got about 1/4 cup)
Enough Water to make 1 cup total of Liquid (I used 3/4 cup)
Zest from an Orange
1/2 Vanilla Bean, scraped
1 (12 ounce) bag Fresh Cranberries

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and liquid to a boil.  Add the scraped vanilla bean, as well as the pod.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the cranberries and orange zest.  Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to pop and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.  Remove the vanilla bean pods and allow the sauce to cool.  Transfer to a dish and cover tightly.  Refrigerate until ready to use.