How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Cranberry Sauce! Cranberry sauce is another “co-star” having an important and delicious role as part of the supporting cast in the annual grand production we fondly call Thanksgiving Dinner, where a roasted turkey is the “star” of the show.  (See last post on Two Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for more about this.)

Three main ingredients merge in this sweet/tart dish – sugar, water and cranberries.  Recipes also abound for cranberry sauce with other ingredients such as port wine, orange zest, orange-flavored liqueur, nuts and more.  

Canned cranberry sauce comes in 2 varieties – whole berry and jellied. Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than canned that I really recommend you try making some if you have the time.  Homemade cranberry sauce takes 15-20 minutes to process in a boiling water bath canner.  Of course there is some set-up time involved in preparing the canner, jars and lids.  

Preparing Canner, Lids and Jars

 First, prepare the canner, jars and lids.  You will need to assemble eight (8-ounce) jars or 4 pint jars with lids and bands for each jar.  A boiling water bath canner is needed with a rack in the bottom to keep jars from touching the bottom of the pan.  If you don’t own a boiling water bath canner, you can use a large kettle that is deep enough to allow water to cover the jars with at least one inch of water when they are placed in the canner and enough space for boiling.  A rack placed in the bottom of the canner should hold the jars at least 1/2-inch above the bottom of the canner to allow water to circulate.  The canner should have a cover which will make it easier to keep the water at a full rolling boil during the entire processing time.

Jars should be washed in warm, soapy water or they may be washed in the dishwasher. Put a medium-sized saucepan filled with water on the stove to heat and sterilize the jars, lids and bands. When the water comes to a boil, turn down the heat so the water continues to simmer.  I usually dip the glass jars in the hot water and them place them, open end up, on a clean dish towel to await the hot cranberry sauce.  Lids and bands are left in the hot water until time to put them on the jars filled with cranberry sauce.

Preparing Cranberry Sauce

Secondly, in a large metal saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Boil hard for 5 minutes.  Add cranberries and return mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until all berries burst and liquid begins to sheet from a metal spoon, about 15 minutes.  

 

Next, ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust head space, if necessary by adding hot sauce.  Wipe rim. Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

 Place jars in the canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.

Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
Yields 8
Wonderful cranberry sauce made of only 3 ingredients - water, sugar and cranberries! So much better than the canned variety!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups granulated sugar
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 8 cups fresh cranberries (2 lbs.)
  4. Optional: grated zest of 1 large orange
Instructions
  1. Prepare canner, lids and jars.
  2. In a large metal saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cranberries and return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until all berries burst and liquid begins to sheet from a metal spoon, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in orange zest, if using, during the last few minutes of cooking.
  5. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4" head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cook and store.
Notes
  1. This recipe also makes 4 pint jars, in the event you want pints instead of 8-oz. jars.
Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Cranberry Sauce isn’t just for Thanksgiving Dinner. Try it with other meats (roast beef) and try it spread on a sandwich that contains meat. I know of one deli that serves a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce. Yum! Send a jar of homemade cranberry sauce home with family and friends who enjoyed it at your Thanksgiving table as a remembrance of a wonderful day together. A jar of homemade cranberry sauce with a holiday tag and ribbon would also make a great Christmas gift for co-workers, family or friends!

Tasty Tip:  If you want to have cranberries on hand year-round, freeze them for later use.  Cranberries are only in season in the fall so buy a few extra bags to freeze for future muffins, breads, and other uses. Once the holidays are over, the cranberries seem to disappear from the grocer’s shelf!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

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Janet

Linking up with these great sites:  www.makeaheadmealsforbusymoms, www.flourmewithlove.com, www.memoriesbythemile.com, www.stonegableblog.com, www.our4kiddos.blogspot.com, www.thegraciouswife.com, cornerstoneconfessions.com, www.savvysouthernstyle.net, www.sewcraftyangel.blogspot.com, www.rosilindjukic.com, thenymelrosefamily.com, thecraftyblogstalker.com, www.lambertslately.com, www.mizhelenscountrycottage.com, www.katherinescorner.com, www.simplenaturedecorblog.com, jannolson.blogspot.com, www.thevintagenestblog.com, ww 

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Two Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes

The Star and the Supporting Cast

At the Thanksgiving Dinner table, turkey is unequivocally the “star” of the show! But for a spectacular performance the “star” must have an exceptional supporting cast, also called the “co-stars.”  For Thanksgiving turkey, the co-stars are the wonderful side dishes – the food that accompanies the main course.

Typically, on ordinary days, an American meal would include one vegetable side dish and one starch side dish, such as potatoes, rice or pasta.  As one of our most favorite holidays of the year, Thanksgiving dinners may feature many side dishes. The two absolutely traditional side dishes served at Thanksgiving in the USA are Green Bean Casserole and Sweet Potato Casserole.

Green Bean Casserole

As I mentioned in my last post “10 Thanksgiving Dinner Tips” I discovered a recipe for Green Bean Casserole prepared in the slow cooker that I much prefer to the original recipe.  The great advantage to using this recipe is that it frees up the oven for the turkey and a few co-stars. (I was never fond of soy sauce in the original green bean casserole either.)


Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole is simple to make.  Green beans, cream of chicken soup, milk, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and 1/2 of the french-fried onions are mixed together.

The combined ingredients are placed in a slow cooker which has been sprayed with cooking spray to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the sides later.

The slow cooker is covered and set to cook on “Low” for 5 – 6 hours.  The remaining french-fried onions are added to the top of the casserole before serving.

Note:  This recipe calls for frozen cut green beans but 4 (15-ounce) cans of green beans may be used instead of frozen green beans – your choice.

Green Bean Casserole - Slow Cooker Version
Serves 8
A great alternative to the traditional Green Bean Casserole served at Thanksgiving Dinner!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
6 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
6 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 (16-oz.) packages frozen cut green beans OR 4 (15-oz.) cans of cut green beans
  2. 2 (10.75 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
  3. 2/3 cup milk
  4. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 (6-oz.) can French-fried onions, divided
Instructions
  1. Combine green beans, cream of chicken soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and half the can of French-fried onions in a slow cooker that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. Cover and cook of "Low" setting for 5-6 hours. Top casserole with remaining French-fried onions to serve.
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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole is a holiday favorite side dish laced with nuts and topped with gooey marshmallows!  I like to use fresh sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced, and cooked in boiling water until they are soft.  However, three 15-ounce cans of sweet potatoes may be used if time is an issue.  The sweet potatoes go into the mixer with vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, egg, milk, flour, orange juice, melted butter and chopped nuts.

 When all the ingredients are well-mixed, pour the mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with mini marshmallows.  Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until marshmallows are toasty and brown in color.

 Sweet Potato Casserole is a side dish that can be made the day before Thanksgiving and kept refrigerated until baking time. Flavor intensifiers in this recipe include vanilla, orange juice and cinnamon.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves 6
The traditional Thanksgiving side dish laced with chopped nuts and topped with gooey marshmallows!
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (or 3 15-oz. cans sweet potatoes)
  2. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/4 cup milk
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 3 tablespoons flour
  8. 1/4 cup orange juice
  9. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  10. 1 cup chopped nuts
  11. miniature marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except marshmallows in bowl of mixer. Mix well.
  2. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Top with miniature marshmallows and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until marshmallows have melted and browned on top.
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Nut Chopper – An Old Friend

When preparing the nuts for the Sweet Potato Casserole I used an old nut chopper.  It’s one of my favorite “gadgets” – my mother had one just like this when I was a young girl.  It still functions well to chop nuts into pretty uniform pieces, which is difficult to achieve with other appliances.  Thanksgiving is a time to review that for which we are thankful, and I’m definitely thankful for whatever makes life easier!  

Remember to add a few interesting “co-stars” (side dishes) to your Thanksgiving Dinner to accent the “star” turkey!

I bought some fresh cranberries this week for my next post on how to make cranberry sauce.  Homemade cranberry sauce is so delicious!  Stay tuned!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Click here to subscribe to the Silver Foodie Newsletter.

Janet

Linking up with these great sites:  www.makeaheadmealsforbusymoms, www.flourmewithlove.com, www.memoriesbythemile.com, www.stonegableblog.com, www.our4kiddos.blogspot.com, www.thegraciouswife.com, cornerstoneconfessions.com, www.savvysouthernstyle.net, www.sewcraftyangel.blogspot.com, www.rosilindjukic.com, thenymelrosefamily.com, thecraftyblogstalker.com, www.lambertslately.com, www.mizhelenscountrycottage.com, www.katherinescorner.com, www.simplenaturedecorblog.com, jannolson.blogspot.com, www.thevintagenestblog.com, ww 

.homemaidsimple.com, www.designsbygollum.blogspot.com, www.myturn

us.com, sunflowersupperclub.com, www.thegirlcreative.com, www.apinchofjo

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