Empty a 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 strip orange or lemon zest and 2 tablespoons water to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Quarter 1 each unpeeled orange and tart apple; remove seeds. Roughly chop the fruit with 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor. Fold into cranberry sauce along with 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
Photograph by Jonathan Kantor