I am not a big fan of that stuff in a can that they call cranberry sauce. I admit it, I’m a food snob. I prefer the cranberry sauce with the whole berries, but my kids love it smooth. So had to make my own version. This can be canned and brought out whenever you need it. If you are like my family, we don’t just eat cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. If you do can it, make sure your use the straight, wide-mouthed jar so you can slide it out and slice it if that is what you are used to. It is very easy to make your own sauce. There are not a lot of ingredients and it is well worth doing yourself.
4 bags of fresh cranberries (12 ounce bags)
4 cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
3 cups water
2 tsp. orange zest (optional – but it really makes it pop)
Combine the sugar, juice and water in a big stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the washed cranberries and return to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and boil gently for about 10 minutes. The cranberries will start to pop open. Pour into a food mill and process or if you do not have a food mill, pour into a fine mesh sieve and press with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the sieve as you go. You will end up with a paste like mixture. The sieve strains out all the seeds and skins of the cranberries. Pour into sterile canning jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rims and place hot lids on the top and screw the rings onto the jars. Place in water bath canner and process for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the canner for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a rack and allow to cool overnight. Wipe off the jars and label. Stores for up to 1 year. Or if you don’t want to can it, just pour into a container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. This makes about 4 1/2 cups of cranberry sauce. For those who do want to can and store, I have doubled this recipe and it does fine.