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The first time I made cranberry sauce homemade, I realized I had been overthinking the recipe the entire time. As I worked my way through the cranberry sauce recipe, I realized it is really as simple as water, sugar, and cranberries. Like…that’s it. What makes all of the difference in the final product is the technique and pressing the cranberries.
All of my life I grew up eating canned cranberry sauce. And for the record, I love cranberry sauce. At some point during my meal prep, I would pop open the can and dump the contents in a bowl. The lines were a guide to know where to cut. LOL, But I wanted to make my own. It could not be that hard. Plus, the first time I hosted Thanksgiving, I wanted to do everything homemade. Cranberry sauce was my mountain. Not sure why I overthought it, it is so simple.
I’ve seen recipes where people add other things including orange peels and even alcohol. I knew for my “can-favored” family if I wanted to make it homemade it had to be as simple as possible. This cranberry sauce recipe fits that need. Fresh cranberry sauce wins over canned any day.Jump to Recipe
A few years ago, the internet was all in an uproar about cranberry sauce. Folks were arguing: canned vs homemade. They really went hard for those lines in the gel mold. I personally was unaware of the great divide. I asked my Facebook family and got over 100 comments. They ranged from “Only Ocean spray in a can, that’s it, and that’s all.“; “Homemade is the best! It’s so simple to make.” then; “Canned is gross.”
LOL Clearly, there is no correct answer. But my recipe really is simple to follow and easy to make. I actually usually use Ocean Spray cranberry (fresh cranberry). Cranberry sauce doesn’t have to be filled with berries. I would suggest if you are making this for a crowd, make it more gelled. If you are of the ‘more berries the better’ camp, do not burst them and let them stay more berry.
You can get fancy with cranberry sauce and add orange zest. But I like to keep it simple.
This recipe for homemade cranberry sauce is so straightforward to make you will now be assigned to bring the cranberry sauce at all family gatherings.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12oz bag of fresh cranberries This can be doubled.
- 1 cup water This can be doubled.
- 1 cup sugar This can be doubled.
- Bring one cup of water to a boil
- Add the one cup of sugar to the boiling water. Stir it in the boiling water. It should quickly dissolve.
- Wash and clean the cranberries. Add the fresh cranberries to the boiling sugar water.
- The cranberries will start to burst open. You'll hear a low popping sound.
- Using a spatula as the cranberries begin to boil take the foam out of the pot and set in a separate bowl. The foam is not necessary to the recipe and will lead to a slight film in the finished product if you do not remove it.
- Once you have removed the foam use the spatula to press the cranberries against the side of the pot. It helps to change the consistency and create a gel. Please note, if you want a more berry version- do not press the berries as much. Turn down the heat on the oven so the cranberries do not burn.
- Once the desired consistency is reached, place the cranberries into a bowl and leave out until it is room temperature. Then place in the refrigerator.