RECIPE ALERT: Cranberry Sauce to a Whole New Level... - Westport Moms

This recipe takes cranberry sauce to a new level by portioning it in elegant, individual cups made from hollowed-out oranges.  Every plate looks prettier with one of these beauties next to all the holiday fare! Reduce the sauce as little or as much as you like, keeping in mind that it naturally thickens as it cools. Add chopped pecans or currants for a meatier sauce.  The cranberry orange cups travel easily and can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days before service. 

Equipment: cutting board; paring knife; grapefruit knife (optional); reamer or fork; spoon; dry measuring cup; microplane; large sauté pan; wooden spoon; casserole or small sheet pan, plastic wrap

  • 1, 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water, seltzer, or champagne
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 4 whole oranges


  • First, halve the oranges crosswise, either with a straight or saw-toothed edge, using a paring knife. To make a saw-toothed edge, pierce the center of the orange at a 45 degree angle with a paring knife (penetrating just to the center), then repeat at the opposite angle. Repeat this triangular pattern until you arrive where you started.  Gently twist the top from the bottom as though you were separating a cap from a bottle and you will have two halves! Repeat with the remaining three oranges. Remove the flesh with a grapefruit or paring knife, and set orange cups aside (reserve the pulp for another use or add some to the sauce). Then scrape all 8 cups clean with a spoon, pulling the remaining flesh from the rind with your fingers. Trim the bottoms, if necessary, to make each cup stable.
  • Mix the sugar and water in a large and deep sauté pan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, and add the cranberries.
  • Return to a boil and reduce the heat. Add the orange zest and juice. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. The cranberries will pop and break down.  Stir occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and cool completely before spooning into cups and refrigerating. The sauce may be served warm or chilled (it will congeal when chilled). Spoon the mixture, evenly divided, into the 8 orange cups.
  • Set the cups in a casserole or on a small sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
  • Serve chilled or room temperature.
  • Makes 8 orange cups.

Lauren is a trained chef and food stylist – and a local mom of two boys! For more information on Lauren, you can read her Meet a Mom feature here.

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