This dish’s well-balanced sweetness and sourness will appeal to fans of cooked cranberry sauce and those who prefer raw relish. Team Relish will appreciate the fresh pop that this gives the sauce. Make the sauce a day (or a few days) ahead of Thanksgiving or any other occasion that calls for cranberries. It gets tastier as it sleeps for a more extended period. Don’t worry if there are any extras; you can mix them with your preferred BBQ sauce and use them to baste poultry and pig. Additionally, it can be added as a garnish to waffles and pancakes.
What is Cranberry Sauce?
Cranberry sauce, sometimes known as cranberry jam, is typically served as a topping or side dish with Thanksgiving meal in North America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada. The sauce’s flavor varies depending on the geographical area in which it is created; for instance, while it is often sweeter in North America, it tends to taste slightly acidic there. It’s improbable that cranberry sauce was served at the First Thanksgiving dinner, despite the possibility that the Pilgrims were aware of the wild cranberries that flourished in the Massachusetts Bay region.
Cranberries are not mentioned in any reliable sources about the First Thanksgiving feast. Only venison, waterfowl, wild turkey, and “Indian corn” are mentioned. Food historians continue to disagree about the remaining points. Although not mentioned in the earliest records, stuffings were a common way to prepare birds for the table in the 17th century.
According to the Plimoth Plantation’s “Thanksgiving Primer,” cranberries may have been used in the stuffing recipes, but it is unlikely that they would have been made into a sauce, given the lack of sugar at the time.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce?
Making this 3-ingredient cranberry sauce couldn’t be simpler. The complete recipe may be seen below, but here’s a quick rundown of what to expect: Orange juice is heated in a pan. Cook the sugar while stirring until it melts. Add the cranberries and boil them, frequently stirring, until they begin to pop.
The cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl. It’s been an acquired taste for me. When I was younger, I found it incomprehensible why something so exquisitely garnet in color wouldn’t taste like berry pie filling.
Cranberries need sugar to neutralize their extreme tartness because they are so tart. But the acidity still comes through even with the sugar. As an adult, I’ve grown to adore cranberry sauce in all its varieties, even a no-cook cranberry relish.
- Sugar, 1 cup (200g)
- Water, 1 cup (250 ml)
- 4 cups (one 12-ounce bag) of cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Pecans, orange zest,
- raisins, currants,
- nutmeg and allspice are optional additions.
- Cranberries should be rinsed, so put them in a colander. Pick out and throw away any cranberries that are broken or bruised.
- Water and sugar to boil: Place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over high heat. To dissolve the sugar, stir.
- Cranberries should be added and cooked until they burst. Add the cranberries and bring the mixture back to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have burst, over a lower heat.
- If used, stir in the add-ins: When the cranberries have burst, you can serve the cranberry sauce alone or add other ingredients to make it more interesting. We enjoy adding a few pinches of orange zest and half a cup of chopped pecans.
- Some individuals like to add raisins, currants, or even blueberries for extra sweetness. Additionally, you may include seasonal flavors like allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon. If using spices, add a pinch of each and adjust the amount to your preference.
- Take the saucepan off the stove and let it cool. Transfer to a bowl and allow it cool entirely at room temperature before chilling in the fridge. The cranberry sauce will thicken even more as it cools.
Can Cranberry Sauce be Prepared Ahead of Time?
A great side dish to prepare in advance is cranberry sauce. It might be advantageous to make it at least a day before you intend to serve it because it needs to cool to achieve the ideal consistency before serving. If you would rather have it warm, you can reheat and do it.
So simple! With my Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Meal Plan and more, I’ve made it simpler for you if you prepare your Thanksgiving meal in advance. Start by keeping it in a glass or plastic container with a lid. Homemade cranberry sauce can be held in the fridge for 10 to 14 days if properly refrigerated.
Pour the sauce into sealed, airtight containers or freezer-safe bags and freeze it if you want to keep it longer. Cranberry sauce made from scratch freezes nicely. To avoid freezer burn, store homemade cranberry sauce in an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bag.
Use the frozen cranberry sauce within a few months for optimal results, and let it defrost overnight in the fridge. Set the heat on your burner to medium. When the sauce has just begun to boil, keep an eye on the pan and stir occasionally. Reduce the heat, then simmer it for ten minutes.
How to Store Cranberry Sauce?
Before storage, let homemade cranberry sauce cool fully. The serving bowl should be moved to an airtight storage container or covered with storage wrap. Cranberry sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to ten days. When not in use, canned cranberry sauce can be held in the pantry; however, if you like a chilled sauce and have additional fridge space, feel free to store it there instead. The sauce that has just been created should be chilled. Let transfer to a sealable container and cool to room temperature. The store-bought sauce also has to be labeled, wrapped, and cooled.
However, transfer your canned cranberry sauce to an airtight, freezer-safe container rather than keeping it in its original packing. To avoid freezer burn and unpleasant odors, anything saved in the freezer must have a tight seal. We understand that some things are sure to get neglected after a long day of Thanksgiving preparation, entertaining, and (hopefully) enjoyment. However, whether it is handmade or purchased from a store if you leave cranberry sauce out overnight, please throw it away.
Can you Freeze Cranberry Sauce?
Cranberry sauce can be frozen, which is a terrific way to start your holiday cooking early. Cranberry sauce should be completely cooled before freezing. Pour the sauce into zip-top freezer bags and add the date on the bag’s label.
Squeeze out the extra air, seal, and freeze for up to a year by laying flat in the freezer. Put the frozen cranberry sauce in the refrigerator the night before you intend to serve it. Overnight thawing is expected. If you prefer warm cranberry sauce, you may reheat it on the stovetop or microwave.
You may freeze leftover homemade cranberry sauce when kept in a freezer-safe container. Remember these three crucial guidelines before freezing: cool, wrap, and label it (the same rules apply when freezing homemade meals). Before placing any cooked food in the freezer, it must be cooled down.
The night before you intend to use it, take the cranberry sauce out of the freezer to let it defrost. It will defrost overnight if you place it in the refrigerator. The cranberry sauce shouldn’t take too long to thaw if you divide it into manageable quantities before freezing it.
Is Cranberry Sauce Good for you?
Once more, antioxidants are strong promoters of health and longevity and may shield you from cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the ingredients in cranberry sauce can protect you against the harm caused by free radicals, which can promote cancer growth. Cranberries and cranberry-related items, such as canned jellied cranberry sauce, are fat-free.
Even if canned cranberry sauce isn’t the healthiest cuisine, it’s acceptable to have some at Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s not the kind of experience you want to have daily. The holidays are an excellent time to indulge a little. Consider the well-known Ocean Spray whole-berry cranberry sauce.
A single quarter-cup serving of the jellied version has 24 grams of sugar, compared to 22 grams in the jellied version. In other words, that amounts to roughly six teaspoons of sugar in a single meal. Because it doesn’t include trans or saturated fats, which have both been linked to heart disease and high cholesterol, cranberry sauce is naturally low in fat.
Additionally, it can prevent you from gaining weight. Many folks use cranberry juice as part of their weight loss strategy to help them lose those extra pounds in as little as two weeks. There isn’t a quick fix for a flat tummy, but consuming specific meals can help the body burn fat more quickly, according to a study.
How do you Thicken Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Pectin, which abundant cranberries naturally possess, will cause your cranberry sauce to thicken as it cools. Additionally, combine 1-2 teaspoons of tapioca or cornstarch until thoroughly combined. Then, while constantly whisking the sauce, add it, and cook until thickened. Aim to reduce the sauce further so that additional liquid cooks off and the mixture thickens.
Add a thickener, such as gelatin, pectin, or a slurry of cornstarch, if that doesn’t work (cornstarch whisked into juice or water). Before putting the sauce in the fridge to thoroughly solidify, let it cool. Natural pectin, which causes cooked fruit to gel, is abundant in cranberries.
The berries must be cooked until they burst and may establish a link with the sugar to release that pectin. As it cools, the sauce will get thicker. Continue to boil the mixture until more pectin is removed from the fruit, more water is evaporated, and the sauce is wide enough to set into a solid gel if you want a cranberry mold that retains its shape.
Over medium heat, bring orange juice, sugar, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cranberries should cook for 8 to 10 minutes over low to medium heat until they start to pop and reach the ideal consistency.
Cranberry sauce, a relish made from the fruit, is served as a side dish with supper on occasions like Christmas. As the name suggests, it is made with fresh cranberries, sugar, and orange juice. The sweetness and sourness of food can vary depending on where it is prepared. This easy-to-make sauce can be used to serve meals with chicken and ham. But turkey is the ideal pairing for this cranberry sauce. Treat your friends and family to a lovely dinner this Christmas.
Serve this cranberry sauce with your dishes to make it the highlight of your holiday spread. The sugar in the sauce can be changed to accommodate the preferences of your target market. Cranberries’ astringent flavor is softened with orange juice, and their sweetness is increased by sugar. Some people also include lemon zest to reduce the tartness further and increase the freshness that the cranberries already possess. This cranberry sauce can also be a bread spread for picnics and packed lunches.