I had made a deliberate decision not to make cranberry sauce.
Here’s the back story: I have made cranberry sauce for every Thanksgiving dinner for – forever – or at least as long as I have been preparing Thanksgiving dinner. In recent years it seems that I am the only one who eats the cranberry sauce and the leftovers eventually get thrown away. I didn’t think the cranberry sauce would be missed. I was wrong.
So when I saw the last of the season’s cranberries on sale at the grocery store, I decided to go all in. But instead of freezing the cranberries, I chose to make cranberry sauce and preserve it.
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Makes 6 to 6 ½ half-pints
3 (12-ounce) bags of cranberries
2 ½ cups Sucanat (another granulated sugar, e.g., organic cane sugar may be substituted)
1 ½ cups apple juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
If you plan to preserve the sauce, as I did, then start a boiling water bath with jars.
Combine the cranberries, Sucanat, juices and zest in a large nonreactive pot over high heat. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes until all of the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thickened.
If you are preserving, fill the jars (leave ½ inch headspace) and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. (Full details on using a water bath and preserving techniques can be found in The Allergy-Free Pantry.)
This sauce is tangy and lightly sweet. It can be used as a side with your favorite dish or spread on your bagel or toast as a jam.
I love having these jars in my pantry. Next time someone asks for cranberry sauce at my dinner table, I will be ready!