I make orange-cardamom cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving without fail. Growing up around a kitchen packed with jars and bags of whole spices, I learned what all the pods, seeds, berries and sticks smelled and tasted like. When I put the notion of cardamom and cranberries together in my head one year, it simply made sense. Woody, herbal, spicy and fragrant, cardamom is a spice frequently used in Indian cooking and adds a certain resin-like note that cinnamon or cloves, cranberry sauce’s usual whole spices, can’t touch.
If you have black cardamom seeds rather than pods, don’t worry about it. Half a teaspoon of seeds will add a tiny amount of crunch and texture without cracking any teeth.
- 1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8-10 cardamom pods
- 1 large navel orange, zested and juiced
- 1 cup water
- Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until all cranberries have popped out of their skins and sauce thickens.
- Fish out cardamom pods and discard.
- For best flavor, refrigerate overnight and serve warm.