November 22nd, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

Whew! Made it in under the wire. It would be rather useless (not to mention embarrassing) to have to post this distinctly Thanksgiving-ish recipe too late for anyone to do anything with it. As it is, I’ll have to hope that you’re all master procrastinators like me, destined for at least one if not two moreĀ grocery trips before the Official Meal is served.


Now for one of my many dirty little secrets: I love the kind of cranberry sauce that comes in a can. Always have. It is more like cranberry jello than cranberry sauce… which is awesome. But the new me couldn’t accept all the chemicals that typically go into that sort of thing. Strictly speaking, you can easily make the canned version just by making this jello recipe with bottled cranberry juice. But I’ve come up with this half-breed jellied cranberry sauce that I really like, so I’m going to show you how to make that here. I guess we’ll find out if I’m the only one who likes it! First, we have to make some traditional cranberry sauce, so start with a ten-ounce package of frozen cranberries, and dump 1 full cup of sugar on top.


Add 1 cup of water, and stir it all around. Another option is to use one cup of orange juice instead, which is a great flavor if you’re going the traditional route, but it does change the texture quite a bit if you go on to make my mock-can preparation, so you have to decide in advance which one you’re going to make.


Boil for about 10 minutes, until the skins of the cranberries begin to pop.


As it cools, it will thicken and goo-ify. Bet you won’t find that term in the Joy of Cooking glossary. Now, you can be a curmudgeonly coward and stop here, serving up a perfectly traditional but classy cranberry sauce. Or you can be a wild, modern trend-setter, and read on for something completely different.


First, make your sauce smooth in a blender or food processor.


There are probably still going to be some small bits, which I suppose you could try to strain out if you really wanted. Then, pour your puree into a large bowl.


Sprinkle one packet of Knox gelatin over the entire surface.


Pour in one cup of boiling water…


…and stir quickly to make sure all the gelatin dissolves.


Pour it into whatever container you want it to set in. These round tupperware containers are my homage to the metal can, of which I have precisely zero available in my kitchen.


Let it set in the fridge for several hours, and voila: jellied cranberry sauce! Fair warning, you may have to thwack pretty hard on the bottom of the container to get it to come out like this. But you could also leave it in the container — this stuff is still a bit spreadable, kind of like a very thick jam, which is the way I like it.

And while you’re planning your Thanksgiving table, don’t forget these great recipes:

Thanksgiving Turkey
Deviled Eggs
Sweet Potato and Apple Bake
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Casserole
Pumpkin Pie


Happy Thanksgiving!


Cranberry Sauce

10-ounce bag frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water (or 1 cup orange juice)

1 packet Knox gelatin
1 cup boiling water


2 comments to Cranberry Sauce

  • grannymudita

    From long ago and far away I recall an aid to getting the gelled mixture to let go of the container: place it in a pan of warm water for 30-60 seconds, then turn it over. That should help. But a thwack is always an option too. (and I always thought it was really clever of those Ziploc folks to re-invent the jar in a plastic format. I have at least 15 in my kitchen.)

  • xoxoxoBruce

    My Granny always made the jellied cranberry sauce, as well as the relish of ground cranberries, orange peel, and sugar. She used grannymudita’s method of heating, to get the jellied sauce out of the mold.

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