In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup orange juice.
If I'm not mistaken, a lot of cranberry sauce recipes just use water and sugar, so I think the orange juice adds a little something special here. And of course, cranberry & orange is a great flavor combo anyway.
Stir in 12 ounces of cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes).
This part of the recipe was a little alarming to me, having never cooked cranberries before. What happens when cranberries pop? Would they explode and squirt scalding cranberry juice in my face? Would this require some form of protective eyewear? I decided to err on the side of caution and just covered my pot with a lid. Sure enough, after a few minutes, I began to hear popping noises. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but definitely noticeable. I moved the lid aside just enough to stir them around every once in awhile.
Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
I took the pot off the burner after about 12 minutes, when I wasn't hearing any more popping, and it appeared that most of the cranberries had burst. The sauce looked frothy and runny.
After my taste test, I'd say it was a success! Tart yet a little sweet, and you can taste the hint of orange. I spooned it into a white bowl to set off the red color. This cranberry sauce would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving or Christmas table! In my opinion, much better than cranberry sauce out of a can (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Stretchy pants, here I come!
* Notes: I bought the bag of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries in the produce section, but there might be frozen ones, too. Also, I doubled the recipe (2 cups/2 cups/24 oz).