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Recipe File

Cranberry Sauce

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What holiday turkey dinner would be complete without the a sweet and tangy sauce made from fresh cranberries? Sure, the tin can shaped jelly mound of Ocean Spray is becoming more and more often the norm at holiday dinners, but making cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries to too easy and too tasty not to.

A simple cranberry sauce can be made with roughly 2 parts cranberries, 1 part water and 1 part granulated sugar by weight. So, begin with a one pound bag of fresh cranberries, one cup water, and one cup granulated sugar. The sugar can be increased to 1-1/2 cup if a sweeter sauce is desired.

Rinse the berries in a colander and remove and stems or bad berries. There's no need to spend too much time on this step. You can also use frozen cranberries - just rinse them and don't worry about defrosting them.

In a medium saucepan, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Then bring the syrup up to a boil and pour in the cleaned berries. Adjust the heat so the mixture maintains a simmer and cook until all the berries pop or crack open, about five minutes to seven minutes. Take the sauce off the heat at this point, or simmer it down to the desired thickness. Remember the sauce will thicken a little while cooling. Chill overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

While simmering the berries, additional ingredients can be added for more flavoring such as orange zest, flavored liquors, or spices like cinnamon.


Cranberry Sauce (about 12 servings)
1 lb. (450 g) fresh cranberriessimmer until berries split
1 cup (235 mL) waterdissolveboil
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Written by Michael Chu
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19 comments on Cranberry Sauce:(Post a comment)

On November 04, 2005 at 09:50 PM, BFW (guest) said...
I too love fresh cranberry sauce. My alternative doesn't use water:

replace water with juice from one orange

(and optionally)
add orange zest from orange
walnuts
touch of fresh ginger


ps. Your feed is still not working.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:51 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Another thing you can add is a small can of crushed pineapple, but look for pineapple in its own juice, not syrup.

I have also had some good cranberry sauce which had diced jalapenos.

If you don't want anything as drastic as pineapple or jalapeno, I would suggest an apple, diced. A Granny Smith or a Cortland (two apples also good for making apple pie) would do nicely.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:51 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I often freeze the fresh cranberries to ensure I have some for the holidays. I have discovered that the sauce won't thicken if the frozen berries are thawed first. I just put them in straight from the freezer. Last year I found a recipe for cranberry chutney on the internet and it was really good as an alternative.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:51 PM, fanatic (guest) said...
I've been exploring the cranberry recently too, especially since it's packed with phytochemicals. This is a timely post ... Thank you! I've also replaced the water with orange juice ... with good results. I've used cranberry juice too, which gives tarter results. I've taken to whizzing the sauce in the food processor when still warm. It gives a smoother consistency and seems to distribute the pectin more, helping to thicken the sauce.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:52 PM, Ed (guest) said...
our traditional recipe for cranberry sauce is 4 cups berries, 3 cups sugar, and two cups water....boil and then simmer until it's jam-like......

for the best sauce, use wild lingonberries (we call them low-bush cranberries).......


On November 23, 2005 at 09:15 AM, Frankenblonde (guest) said...
Subject: the sauce
I really like the jellied log from a can, but I've just moved to a farm so now I'm expected to make everything from scratch.

I came across your site while looking up basic recipes for "the sauce" and I love it! I used to be an executive secretary for our sheriff's head honchos, but now I stay home and raise children & animals (which are really the same thing, aren't they?). In researching the best and simplest recipes for everyday as well as holiday cooking, I've found "Cooking for Engineers" works well with my mentality. I thank you, and my husband and kids thank you. ;)


On January 24, 2006 at 10:34 AM, achaplin (guest) said...
Subject: pooop!
[b:77cd3a0199] :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P
you recipec taste like sh**t its badddd! you fat american pigs!
onk onk! i hear bacon![/b:77cd3a0199]


On February 04, 2006 at 04:47 PM, andycwb said...
BFW wrote:
I too love fresh cranberry sauce. My alternative doesn't use water:



Neither does mine: use red wine for the liquid (or 3/4 wine, 1/4 water). Also experiment with cloves and allspice in the mix.

Andy


On October 18, 2006 at 03:06 PM, Hunter Cashdollar (guest) said...
Subject: homemade sauce
It would be great to finally taste some truly homemade cranberry sauce this year. Hunter Cashdollar


On October 18, 2006 at 05:39 PM, Christina (guest) said...
Subject: Cranberry relish
My family wandered from the cooked cranberry sauces years ago. Our favorite is a fresh cranberry relish.

1 bag fresh cranberries (washed if needed)
1 whole orange including peel (with the top stem part cut off, and the bottom too if it's tough and fiberous)
1 cup sugar (to taste)

Cut orange into wedges, blend orange, cranberries, and 1/2 cup sugar until it reaches a relish consistancy. Add more sugar to taste.

Super simple and awesome with the turkey dinner! :-)


On November 07, 2006 at 06:53 AM, JUDY B (guest) said...
I LOVE HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE..I SOMETIMES ADD ORANGE MARMALADE WITH THE SUGAR AND ORANGE JUICE INSTEAD OF THE WATER. I USUALLY TASTE THE SAUCE TO SEE IF ITS THE SWEETNESS I LIKE AND ADJUST. HERE IS MY RECIPE:
1 PKG CRANBERRIES 1/2 C SUGAR 1/2 C MARMALADE 1 c WATER
ENJOY ! JUDY B.


On November 07, 2006 at 07:07 AM, JUDY B (guest) said...
I THINK MANY OF YOU WOULD ENJOY MY RECIPE FOR FRESH CRANBERRY RELISH IT IS DELICIOUS AND TAKES VERY LITTLE TIME

1 BAG CRANBERRIES 2 SM WHOLE ORANGES 2 SM RED APPLES
1 C. SUGAR 1 CUP WALNUTS (OR PECANS) 2 T MARMALADE

REMOVE STEMS AND SEEDS FROM FRUIT AND CUT INTO QUARTERS, THEN CHOP IN EACH FRUIT SEPARATELY AND PLACE THEM IN A LARGE BOWL AFTER BEING CHOPPED ...ADD MARMALADE & SUGAR ... STIR UNTIL WELL BLENDED..COVER & REFRIGERATE UNTIL READY TO SERVE.
ENJOY ! JUDY B.


On December 04, 2006 at 04:51 PM, bluswmn (guest) said...
Subject: Cranberries for diabetics
I love cranberries and recently learned that a 1/2 cup of uncooked berries is considered a "free food" when included in a diabetic diet. (diabetics can have a couple of servings of "free foods" a day -which are foods that don't have to be counted as they are low in calories and fatfree) For a Quick Fix I pour a cup of cranberries in a bowl with 1/3 cup of water and nuke it for 3 minutes. Stir in a sugar free substitute and let cool. Makes 2 servings and is delish!


On April 14, 2008 at 02:52 PM, maryadavis said...
As if I am able to do this. Anyway, I'm writing it down and hope I can bribe my husband into doing it. The role of a housewife never suited me but I must confess it suits him better.


On May 04, 2008 at 07:55 PM, Condie said...
My famous cranberry sauce is simple to make and always a hit. Okay, well, at least I like it. :)

Never Fail Whole Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:
12 oz can frozen Apple Juice concentrate.
12 oz pkg. Cranberries (about 3 measuring cups).
2 Tbs Sugar (white or brown)
2 Tbs Lemon Juice

Optionals:
2 Tbs Rum or Cognac or C. Red Wine
Finely chopped citrus peel
Small tart chopped apple or C. raisons
1 Tbs horseradish (if to be used only as a meat sauce)

Bring Concentrated Apple Juice to a boil while rinsing cranberries through a sieve.
Add the rinsed and drained cranberries, sugar, lemon juice, and rum (or other optionals).
Bring back to simmer, lower heat and cover.
Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If sauce is too thin, simmer additional five minutes without cover, stirring occasionally.

This is best served warm. Encourage guests to spread over their meat and dressing European style.


Leftover cranberry sauce makes a wonderful topping for ice cream and yogurt.
Use instead of jam on your morning toast and peanut butter.
Cranberry sauce is a popular European topping for wild game.


On July 19, 2008 at 12:58 PM, Jerry (guest) said...
Subject: Dried Cranberries for sauce??
Has anyone tried making a sauce from dried berries? Fresh one never available where I live.


On November 18, 2008 at 06:24 PM, lu (guest) said...
Subject: sugar
I make mine just as Mr. Chu does, but with only half the amount of sugar. Really, it's just fine like that. Chances are you won't miss the rest of the sugar. Also, it's okay if the sauce is still a bit warm when you eat it!

Dried cranberry query: you could probably do something with them, simmering them in water or juice, but most dried crans have quite a lot of sugar added so you probably ought not to add anymore. Can you get frozen cranberries? The natural foods grocery where I work has them frozen all year round.

I also love the canned jellied cran sauce. It seems aesthetically important, though, to get it out of the can and into a serving dish with the contours from the sides of the can, the rings, in tact!

This is a favorite food website of mine. Thanks.


On January 23, 2010 at 06:31 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I'll second the recommendation for adding crushed pineapple and jalapenos. Take the recipe posted here and add one can of crushed pineapple (drained), and 3 diced jalapenos. Add the pineapple after its done cooking. The jalapenos go in with the berries so they cook down.

With 3 jalapenos, you get a bit of heat but nothing that overpowers the berries. You can add or subtract to taste, but either way its good. I made this for last Thanksgiving and everyone loved it (or so they told me).


On November 01, 2010 at 04:44 PM, JenniferCote said...
Subject: Cranberry Relish
Love this basic recipe. I've done this one for years; recently added a bit of frozen orange juice concentrate afterward. The flavor goes well, and I don't even have to juice an orange and boil it down...

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