How to make Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving

November 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm 1 comment

Cranberry Sauce 11-12 IMG_2606If you are counting down to Thanksgiving, you may want to start your food preparation and the first thing you can make is the cranberry sauce.  This is a basic recipe for Cranberry Sauce.  Yes, there are other fancier versions – compotes, chutneys, with all kinds of fancy ingredients, but my family demands the basic cranberry sauce – the one on the back of the Ocean Spray package.  If you’ve never made this, it is way easier than pie!  More on pies later, as I am teaching our Pies and Tarts Cooking Class this week.

I am going to walk you through Cranberry Sauce 101.  It is so easy, you can watch your favorite sitcom or reality TV show while you make this – so there are no excuses!  You will need one minute to measure the ingredients and then 20 minutes until you can store it in the frig for the big day.  The results are impressive.  Don’t ever open another can of this stuff, because it is truly Fresh Food in a Flash.

Assemble 1 package of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.

Assemble 1 package of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.

I know the package directions tell you to heat the sugar and water first, but I don’t.  I want my berries to pop and have more of a gelatin based mixture.

Dump all ingredients into a medium saucepan and stir.

Dump all ingredients into a medium saucepan and stir.

No fuss.  No muss.  Start on a high heat to bring your mixture up to a boil, then turn it down to low.  Now set your timer for 15 minutes and go watch your favorite TV show.

Stir the mixture occasionally during the 20 minutes.

Stir the mixture occasionally during the 20 minutes.

OK, during the commercial break, you will want to come see what’s going on, so give things a stir.

After 20 minutes, your cranberry sauce will look like this.   Turn off the heat and let it cool.

After 15 minutes, your cranberry sauce will look like this. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

You can cook the cranberry sauce for 10-20 minutes.  If you want it more gelatinous, cook it longer until more of the berries pop.  After it cools, taste your creation and then pour your mixture into a container for the refrigerator.

Cranberry sauce ready for storage.

Cranberry sauce ready for storage.

Your cranberry sauce will last a few weeks in the refrigerator and if you still have some leftover, freeze the rest in a container.  You will have a nice surprise in January, when you find it and want to spoon some on a pork chop or on a chicken sandwich.

Present your cranberry sauce in a pretty bowl like this one.

Present your cranberry sauce in a pretty bowl like this one.

On the big day, pull out your cranberry sauce and serve it along with the amazing roast turkey.  Serve it in a glass bowl for the most impact on your holiday table!  Hopefully you will have leftovers to spoon onto a turkey sandwich the next day – my fave!

Mulling Spices from Frieda's

Mulling Spices from Frieda’s

You can make the classic like mine or you could change it up by adding the zest from an orange and replace orange juice for the water.  Or you could add a sachet or tea ball at the start with some mulling spice like this from Frieda’s to add some zing.  Any way you do it, enjoy your holiday!

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 12 ounce package of Ocean Spray Cranberries

Combine water, cranberries and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let cook for 10-20 minutes, depending on how gelatinous you want your cranberries, stirring occasionally. Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

For more Thanksgiving recipes, click below:

Yam & Swiss Chard or Kale Gratin,

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon or Not

Thanksgiving Brussels Spouts with Chestnuts,

Yam & Carrot Latkes,

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake,

Sweet Potato Pie,

Foolproof Pie Crust

and for the day after, Turkey Stock made from turkey carcass.

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Entry filed under: Christmas, Food, Food Blog, Recipes, Sauce, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian, WordPress. Tags: , .

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Patricia K. Rose

I am a Chef, Cooking Teacher and Food Blogger. Learn how to create delicious and healthy food in a FLASH.

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