Thanksgiving Thursday – Cranberry Sauce

As I said in last the last Thanksgiving Thursday post, turkey, dressing/stuffing and cranberry sauce are the cornerstone of any Thanksgiving feast.  The side dishes often vary, but these three things are almost always on the table in one form or another.

Nor is anything as likely to divide your diners the way cranberry sauce can.  Some people just can’t stand it and those who love it are often at odds over what kind they love.  My mother, for instance, hated cranberry sauce with whole cranberries – I’m not sure why, but I suspect it was because she’d never had any that was homemade.  So my entire childhood we ate the smooth, jellied stuff that came out in the exact shape of the can.  I never really thought much about it – cranberry sauce was just something you slapped on your plate next to the turkey – and the cylinder o’ sauce continued to be a tradition once I was an adult and had children of my own.  In fact, it’s still the only kind of cranberry sauce Darling Daughter cares for.

Then I met Beloved and that all changed.  He prefers it with real cranberries, so I made it my mission to find a recipe that I liked as well, since I had inherited some of my mother’s prejudices against lumpy sauce.  I found a couple of likely candidates, decided which one we liked best, and have been perfecting it ever since.  The following is the latest incarnation; it lends itself really well to modification and is heaven on a turkey sandwich at 10:00 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

AND it’s super, super easy to make – what more could you ask for?

Triple Cranberry sauce

makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed

1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on how tart you like it

1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins will do)

3 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons minced orange peel

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons minced candied ginger

Combine the cranberry juice concentrate and sugar in a heavy, medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Add the fresh and dried cranberries, reduce the heat to medium/medium high and cook until the dried berries begin to soften and the fresh berries begin to pop, stirring often, about 7 – 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the marmalade, orange juice, peel and allspice.  Let it cool until it is just lukewarm and stir in the candied ginger.  Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.  Can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Keep refrigerated.

18 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Thursday – Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Linda – yes. Well, I do, anyway. I jells, but not so much that it becomes real solid. It would probably be fine at room temperature if you prefer it that way.

  2. It sounds wonderful. Our thanksgiving is at my Dad’s each year and I “get” to bring something (they usually request my mashed potatoes and sometimes I have done a sweet potato casserole too.) This year I may have to bring some of your recipes- just to shake things up! It is funny how traditions get written in stone in families and also how fun it can be to shake things up. I won’t ask- I’ll just show up with your recipes and turn it loose on them. LOL

    The funniest year was when John and I first met and he wanted to make them a deep fried turkey. They let him do it because he offered and they are polite people but my stepmother who is the turkey “master” each year was a bit put out and she confided in me later that even though the turkey was really good that way, a repeat performance would not be allowed on the “sacred” day of Thanksgiving.

  3. I have endorsed the following in the last couple of weeks with no issue:
    Turkey *drool*
    Dressing/Stuffing *drool*

    Today, I am partially endorsing the cranberry sauce, only because of Jan’s wonderful culinary skills. I cannot stand cranberries and thus cannot fully endorse this recipe. However, if you like cranberries, its probably awesome.

  4. I’m with you in that I hate lumpy sauce. I love me some cranberry sauce but it’s gotta be the smooth kind.

    I like candied yams too 🙂

    Oh, as for the recipe? All recipes are written in Arabic to me. I can’t read one.

    Besides, I’m allergic to them.

    Slicks last blog post..Feelin’ Sexy….

  5. Yeah! I LOVE cranberry sauce. My Mom used to make it for Thanksgiving, but the only kind I’ve ever known since then has come from a can.

    OK, I’m strapping on my apron, which still smells a little like failed Pad Thai. I am going to make your recipe for Thanksgiving.

    Thank you!

    goodfathers last blog post..SHE’S WALKING!

  6. Keep posting. I’m compiling myself a Jan’s Turkey Day cookbook. I have a recipe similar to this but add to it mandarin oranges and pecans or walnuts. Top with a sweet cream cheese topping. It’s also yummy. But my MIL insists on still having the smooth canned variety. LOL

    Smart Mouth Broads last blog post..HER NOSE CAME OFF

  7. I love homemade, not too sweet cranberry sauce. Your recipe sounds yummy. I make mine pretty much how they say on the package of fresh cranberries with about 1/3 less sugar. Once it’s cooked, I throw in a full Mandarin orange (peel and all except for the seeds) that has been ground to bits in the food processor and a few cloves. I’ve turned cranberry sauce haters into lovers with this one. Yours sounds wonderful too.

    Hilarys last blog post..Bridging Generations

  8. I had an Aunt that made the best cranberry sauce but I never got around to asking her for her recipe. I guess I just always expected her to be there to show me. I am looking forward to trying this. Thanks!

    Stepping Thrus last blog post..Fall Festival

  9. This. Sounds. Fabulous! I’ll be asking PerfectSister if i can bring it to Christmas dinner this year (as that’s next up or our holiday season)…i knew it would be good, but candied ginger?!…can’t wait to try it!

    thistles last blog post..Friday Fill-Ins #96

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