It’s that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. The holiday that gets squeezed in between Halloween candy sales and the onslaught of Christmas goods. Thanksgiving! Time for pies, and sweet potato casserole – hold the marshmallows, thank you – smashed taters, vegetable tarts & terrines, bread and my absolute favorite, dressing! I know there’s a big debate about whether it’s called stuffing or dressing. My opinion, for what it’s worth, if you pile it in another ingredient – say a squash, eggplant, zucchini or other vegetable, then it’s stuffing. If you pile it into a casserole dish and bake, it’s dressing. Anyhow, dressing needs cranberry sauce. It needs it. Or, maybe I just need it. Confession time. I am a cranberry sauce junkie. Growing up, we only had the canned plop. It was okay, I guess. I could never get past the can ridges that were embedded along the sides. They were always there because everyone just slid that baby out of the can and onto a plate. Can imprints. Yuck. Throw away the can! You can make your own whole berry cranberry sauce! It’s the easiest thing to do. You will exert more effort using the can opener. Put it away and buy a bag of cranberries. You’re halfway to the best cranberry sauce you’ve ever tasted.
And, it’s time for another confession. My mother in law loves the stuff. It brings back memories of her childhood, when her mother made it. She used the canned stuff when my husband was growing up. The first time she had Thanksgiving dinner with us and had the fresh made stuff? Yeah, baby, you know who’s the favorite daughter in law now, uh huh! We’ll be out of town this year, so, being the darling that I am, I made her a batch to keep in her fridge, so she won’t do without.
Here we go!
You’ll need 4 cups of fresh cranberries. My co-op was offering these cranberries. The clamshell reads, Sandhill Cranberry LLC, Wisconsin. This amused me. See, sandhill cranes are a migratory bird. So, it’s feasible that the birds that wade in their cranberry bogs, are the same that pick over my garden in central Florida.
You’ll also need one cup each of orange juice and sugar.
Rinse off the berries. Pour the OJ into a medium sized sauce pan and dump the cup of sugar on top.
Heat until boiling, giving a stir, to help the sugar dissolve.
Then, dump in the cranberries.
Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll hear the berries pop. They’re supposed to.
It will get foamy. Don’t worry, it’s all good. That foam will settle back down while it cools. When your 5 minute timer dings, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool off.
Once it’s cool, pour it into a pretty dish and serve. That’s it. Super simple, isn’t it. You can make this a week ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator. When the day comes, just serve it up in a dish with a couple of cute orange peel strips. I have pictured this with our *official* cranberry sauce utensil. It makes an appearance, tarnish and all, just for homemade cranberry sauce. I have no idea what it’s real purpose it. That’s the fun of it. Get yourself an official cranberry sauce spoonish type thing and enjoy!
- 12 ounces or 4 cups of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- In a medium saucepan bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries and keep at a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until needed. Keeps in the fridge for up to a month. Can be frozen, too.