Three more days until the day we stuff our faces with turkey, all the fixings and lots and lots of pies! It doesn’t feel right to post about any other food beside things to go with your turkey. So I decided to make some cranberry sauce over the weekend. I figured it will last until Thursday and perhaps will better than the canned version. Cranberry sauce has always been the last thing on our list so we never tried to make it ourselves. I think last year we even forgot to take out the can… I still have it in the pantry (expiration date is in 2015, crazy eh?)
Ryan insisted that I buy him a can of cranberry jelly even though I volunteered to make some homemade cranberry sauce. Hence, I ended up making two different batches of this sauce, one with the whole berries and a jelly version. There will be lots of sauce for after Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches!
I’ve never used fresh cranberries before in anything. To me, cranberries are the super sweet sugary dried fruits you eat with nuts and seeds for a snack. And no, I know they don’t grow that way on the plant, duh! But imagine my surprise when I bit into a fresh cranberry, sour little berry! And is it just me or they feel like wooden beads…
Cranberry sauce is actually surprisingly simple to make. It’s just cranberry cooked in loads of sugar (and you NEED it!) I used honey instead of sugar for my sauce, and added orange juice and zest. If you want to make the jelly version, I think it’s better to omit the orange zest since the mixture needs to be pureed and strained. The zest leaves a slight bitterness in the jelly. I would definitely leave out the zest next time. But I’m already thinking of trying other flavor for next Thanksgiving! Until next year then!
This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence’s Cranberry-Orange Sauce recipe.
- 12 oz fresh cranberries (1 package)
- Zest of 1 orange (omit for jelly version)
- Juice of 1 orange
- Water to make 1/2 cup of liquid
- 1/2 cup orange blossom honey (or regular)
- Wash cranberries and the orange. Discard any mushy cranberries. Zest then juice the orange.
- Add water to the orange juice to make 1/2 cup of liquid, add this to a pot with the honey. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Add the cranberries and orange zest (omit for jelly version), cook for 5 - 10 minutes until the cranberries pop, stirring occasionally.
- Some of the berries may not pop, but once the sauce thickens and the berries are tender, it is done.
- If you want cranberry sauce with whole berries, you are done at this point. Let cool before serving or refrigerating. Store in jars.
- If you want cranberry jelly, transfer the mixture into your food processor or blender. Blend well and strain through a fine mesh strainer. You’ll have to work the mixture through the strainer with a rubber spatula since it is thick. Store in jars, and let cool before refrigerating.