For me there is no substitute for plain freshly made cranberry sauce and it is incredibly easy to make. I prefer to use Clementines or Mandarin oranges , they sell them by the case this time of year. A splatter guard and/or lid is recommended specifically so you don’t have a ring of tiny red spots around your burner in the end. For straining, the cheesecloth method is a bit messy and cranberry is a pretty strong natural dye. With a wire mesh strainer you can just smoosh it about with a spoon for a while.
12 oz fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
In a sauce pan, add all ingredients and mix well. Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer, stir occasionally until the cranberries begin to break down. (4-5 minutes)
Once all of their skins have split and burst open use a potato masher and smash the cranberries into a sauce for 1-2 minutes more before removing from heat.
If you like the skin in your sauce then you are done, if you like it without lumps use a wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth.