This is about the most basic cranberry sauce you can make without opening a can! You can jazz it up a little by adding the orange zest if you like, but it doesn’t need... it. I like my sauce quite tart to counteract the richness of the array of holiday foods, but if you have a sweeter tooth than I, up the sugar to one cup. Enjoy!
In a small saucepan over a medium high flame, add the cranberries, sugar, water and orange peel if using and stir to mix. As soon as the water boils, about 1 minute, cook stirring until the sugar dissolves and some of the cranberries nearest the heat start to pop, about 5 minutes. Stir to mix. Lower the flame to medium low and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring once halfway through.
Turn the heat off. Do not remove the lid. Let the sauce sit covered for 10 minutes to finish cooking in its own steam. Leave to cool. Serve at room temperature.
Using a peeler, take an orange and cut a very thin strip of zest about 1/2″ wide and 1″ long. Make sure not to include any bitter white pith.