Cranberries are on sale all over the place for relatively cheap and if you’re looking for a great way to make use of them and help to put up some food for your family for the winter you will love this easy homemade jelled cranberry sauce.
Serve this with Thanksgiving dinner, a chicken or turkey dinner or stash it away to eat like jello on a cold winter’s day.
How to make jelled cranberry sauce
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 orange (zest and juice)
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
Make the cranberry sauce
Rinse the fresh cranberries thoroughly and remove any stems or debris.
Using a zester or grater, zest the orange and lemon. Then, juice both fruits and set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest and juice, and lemon zest and juice.
Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened.
Once the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened, remove it from heat. Allow it to cool slightly, then press it through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve to remove any solids. This will give you a smooth, jellied consistency.
Canning jelled cranberry sauce
While the cranberry mixture is cooling, sterilize your canning jars and lids by placing them in boiling water for a few minutes. This ensures they are clean and ready for use.
Fill each sterilized jar with the jellied cranberry sauce, leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace at the top.
Use a clean knife or spatula to gently remove any air bubbles from the jars.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to ensure they are clean and dry. Place the sterilized lids on the jars and screw on the bands until they are fingertip-tight.
Process the jars in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes to ensure they are properly sealed.
Once processed, carefully remove the jars from the water bath and let them cool on a clean towel or cooling rack. As they cool, you should hear the lids pop, indicating a successful seal.
Once completely cool, label the jars with the contents and date, and store them in a cool, dark place. Properly sealed jars can be stored for up to a year.
Ways to serve cranberry sauce
Traditional Side Dish: Serve cranberry sauce as a classic side dish alongside roast turkey or chicken during holiday meals.
Spread on Sandwiches: Use cranberry sauce as a spread on sandwiches or wraps for a tangy and flavorful twist.
Top Pancakes or Waffles: Use cranberry sauce as a fruity topping for pancakes or waffles, either on its own or mixed with maple syrup.
Stuffed in Pastries: Fill pastries, turnovers, or hand pies with cranberry sauce for a sweet and tart filling.
Mix into Yogurt or Oatmeal: Swirl cranberry sauce into yogurt or oatmeal for a burst of flavor and color. this is a great way to make oats more interesting.
Glaze for Meat or Poultry: Use cranberry sauce as a glaze for roast chicken, duck, or pork for a flavorful and glossy finish.
Dip for Meatballs or Cocktail Sausages: Combine cranberry sauce with other ingredients like chili sauce or mustard to create a tangy dip for meatballs or cocktail sausages.
Mix into Salad Dressing: Incorporate cranberry sauce into vinaigrettes or creamy salad dressings for a unique and zesty flavor.
Fill Baked Brie: Spread cranberry sauce over a wheel of baked brie cheese for an elegant and delicious appetizer.
Stir into Cream Cheese: Mix cranberry sauce with cream cheese to create a festive and flavorful spread for bagels, crackers, or toast.
Sauce for Desserts: Use cranberry sauce as a topping for ice cream, cheesecake, or pound cake for a sweet and tart contrast.
In Cocktails and Beverages: Use cranberry sauce as a base for cocktails, such as a cranberry sauce margarita, or mix it into sparkling water or lemonade for a refreshing drink.
Glaze for Roasted Vegetables: Use cranberry sauce as a glaze for roasted root vegetables or Brussels sprouts for a flavorful side dish.
Serve with Meat or Cheese Platters: Offer cranberry sauce as a condiment alongside a selection of cured meats, pâtés, and cheeses for a well-rounded appetizer spread.