- Why make cranberry sauce at home? So that you will be in charge of freshness, sweetness, ingredients, and unusual flavor additions.
- Make one jar of this quick and easy sauce, or can some for later too.
Make Your Own Cranberry Sauce
“Why don’t you just buy a can of cranberry sauce?”
My mother had a good point. Cranberry sauce is a pretty simple condiment. It’s readily available at the grocery store. It doesn’t cost very much. I am pretty sure most of the family – mother included – thinks I spend way too much time making food from scratch that I could just buy instead.
But there are some good reasons to make your own cranberry sauce, even when you are busy preparing the turkey, mashed potatoes, and other Thanksgiving trimmings. PLUS, this recipe can be prepared while you are stirring the gravy!
Freshness: Homemade jam has much more flavor than commercially prepared jam. Why? Because the ingredients are fresher. Cranberry sauce is the same. While a can of cranberry sauce is good (I love anything cranberry!), the homemade version has a brighter, more assertive flavor.
Sweetness: If you plan to process the following recipe, you must add the recommended amount of sugar. But, if you only make enough for one or two meals, or freeze the extra instead of preserving in a water bath, you can add as much or little sugar as you like. So, if you like a tart sauce, cut the sugar.
Ingredients: Trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup? If not, you probably should be (why is a post for another day). Make your own sauce and use real cane sugar. Of course, cane sugar is not health food, but it’s better for you than high fructose corn syrup! Or substitute honey or maple syrup for some of the sugar. Or use brown sugar for a more caramelized flavor.
Flavorings: Mix things up – add unusual flavorings to your cranberry sauce. Here I add blueberries to the cranberries. You could add apples or raspberries too. Or warm spices like cinnamon or ginger. Or other flavorings like Cointreau or lime zest.
Cranberry Blueberry Sauce
- 6 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- Wash berries. Discard soft or bruised berries.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients.
- Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
- Continue boiling until cranberries pop – or burst open, usually 10-15 minutes.
- Sauce should be thickened somewhat. If you aren’t sure, check the temperature. A good setting for sauce is 217-218 degrees, or about 5 degrees above boiling water temperature.
- Ladle into jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe of jar rim with a damp paper towel.
- Top with two-piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes in canner. Remove and let sit for 12 hours.
- Makes 3-4 pints.
Make It Quick
Just want to make enough for today’s table? Cut the recipe in half or quarters. Cook as above, but let cool instead of placing in jars and processing. Enjoy!