Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

So Thanksgiving was yesterday and I have to say, it came out rather well. I’ve got all sorts of good recipes to share. I made my usual combo of pies (although not pumpkin. That has been firmly displaced by Betty’s Pumpkin Love) and the obligatory turkey. Probably there is nothing exciting to say about turkey which would be why we eat it only once per year. I’m more of a roast chicken fan myself and I find the leftovers much easier to deal with (plus there is no brining controversy). As I type this I’m staring down the barrel of several pounds of leftover turkey with which I’m going to do I’m not sure what (okay actually I am sure. We’ll be having turkey soup and turkey pot pie until it’s gone. There will be no repeat of last year’s disastrous Turkey Curry experiment. Yes seriously I let me husband try it and no, there won’t be an encore) Perhaps we’ll make some turkey sandwiches and if we do the leftovers of this lovely cranberry sauce will get slathered on the bread to go with. It is my best and favorite effort in the cranberry sauce category so far. Most recipes are really more of a cranberry preserve. However, I find that tends to make cranberry sauce bitter from the pulp and seeds mixed in to the sauce. I wanted true jelly instead. Now, you can’t just use pre-bought cranberry juice because it’s the berry skins that give the jelly the needed pectin to jell. I suppose you could add pectin. Anyway, the below was my answer. The key to really good cranberry jelly that even non-cranberry jelly eaters will eat, for example my husband, is to take out the seeds and skin with their accompanying bitter note and add honey because it’s very sweet. It’s so sweet that it balances the bitter note in the cranberries and gives you that nice sweet/sour combo that you get in things such as cherry pie. My kids, never ones to turn down anything labeled “jelly” thought this was simply fantastic, particularly my daughter who likes that sweet/sour combo. Between the two of them they ate more than half the jelly.

To make this I used cheesecloth although a jelly bag would actually have worked better. I mashed the jelly out through the cheesecloth with my fingers and my daughter thought my hands looked just hysterical. Red and sticky and very un-mama like. I emptied and refilled the cheesecloth several times with it disintegrating a bit more each time. Still I think edible cranberry jelly is worth it, don’t you?

Prep time 15 mins

Serves: one small Thanksgiving dinner’s worth of people, about one tall narrow jelly jar worth (10oz)

Stores in the fridge for several weeks

Kid friendly tasks: Berry Checker


  • 1 bag Cranberries (3 cups)
  •  ¼ c Water
  •  The juice of one orange (1/3 c or so)
  •  ¾ c Sugar
  •  ¼ c Honey
  •  Tiny pinch Salt


  1. Wash and pick over the cranberries for bad berries. Dump them into a sauce pot with the water and orange juice. Heat over medium heat until the berries have completely broken down, about 5 mins or so.
  2. Turn off heat and add the sugar, salt and honey. Let cool until you can handle the berries (or use a jelly bag and solve this problem).
  3. Strain the warm jelly through cheesecloth to remove all of the excess skins and pits. You’ll probably reduce the volume of the jelly by about half. Taste for sugar and sweeten more to your taste if needed.

Note: If you just sweeten this with honey it won’t hold a jell as well because of the properties of honey vs sugar. Depending on how saucy you like your sauce this may be a good or bad thing. I just toss that out there.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce


Leave a Reply