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Thread: Cranberry sauce

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    5,854

    Cranberry sauce

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    I made cranberry sauce last night, for the first time ever. It's an understatement to say that I'm not much of a cook. So even this simple recipe was an accomplishment for me. I love cranberry sauce so this will not be my last time making it.

    I used the recipe from Ocean Spray, which is printed on the bag of fresh cranberries:

    http://www.oceanspray.com/Recipes/Co...rry-Sauce.aspx

    If you read the comments after the recipe, you'll see variations that people have tried. Originally I was going to try the simple variation of using orange juice instead of water and cutting the sugar in half. But there were only big bottles of OJ at the store which was more than I wanted to buy, so I went with the basic water + sugar + cranberries. I was making it for the holiday potluck lunch at work, so I made two batches simultaneously using two saucepans.

    In general it was a success, though I felt that the sauce was a bit thin. I wanted it to gel more. I don't know if this was because I did not let it cool all the way to room temperature before I put it in the refrigerator. I kind of had no choice, though, because by the time I got home from post-work shopping it was almost 11 pm, and I literally was eating a PB&J sandwich for dinner while standing at the stove keeping an eye on the two saucepans and stirring them occasionally. After cooking for 10 minutes I took both pans off of the heat and let them sit, covered, as the recipe said. At 12:30 am they were still warm but I poured the sauce from both pans into a plastic storage container and put it in the refrigerator so I could go to bed.

    I guess I might have done something else wrong, like stir it too often while cooking or have the heat too high or too low. The water was only bubbling slightly while it cooked. Or maybe I did everything right, and it was just supposed to be the consistency that I ended up with?

    At any rate, it was a success, several people thanked me for making it and said they enjoyed it, and now I have leftovers to add to my yogurt or spread on my waffles or whatever. And I think I read that it can be frozen, so maybe I will put some away for later.

    In the future I might just make half the recipe (half a bag of berries) at a time, for a smaller batch just for me. Also someone suggested adding a cinnamon stick and some orange zest.

    BTW visiting Cape Cod last summer and learning a bit about the way they harvest cranberries made it more fun to buy the fresh berries and make the sauce.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    I wonder if it needed to boil longer? Or perhaps you are correct about the higher heat - I think I usually use medium. I don't remember timing mine but it is getting really thick when I take it off the heat. The cooling time/refrigerator shouldn't have made a difference. I do the OJ thing, but use a similar recipe. It's odd for cranberry sauce to not set IME.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    1,204
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    I wonder if it needed to boil longer? .
    There is the need to boil the cranberries long enough to release all it’s pectin. Using the amount of sugar the receipt calls for can be important. Sugar also helps in firming it up. According to the receipt I just looked at, when my grandmother molded it she used 1 tbs unflavored gelatin into 2 tbs of water. Letting it stand for 10 minutes then adding ¾ cup of hot juice whisking until dissolved then adding that to the rest. Hers was always one of my favorites.
    I make her cranberry, oj, apple cider, cinnamon and mint leaves chutney....to have her presence at the dinner
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    Congrats on your success.

    Boiling longer also gives the sugar water mixture more time to thicken as well.

    Do try the orange juice method and add some fresh grated orange peel. A few chopped walnuts are great and you can spice it a little with things some cloves, cinnamon and ginger if you want to get even more adventurous.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,854
    Thanks ladies.

    I am seeing some recipes that say to boil 15 minutes rather than 10. I assumed Ocean Spray would know best, but maybe not. Alton Brown does caution against boiling for too long, or else the pectin will break down. BTW he sets his in a can so it has ridges.

    http://altonbrown.com/cranberry-sauce-recipe/

    So the upshot is that I need to experiment more with longer boiling times.

    At any rate, I've now been asked to find a low sugar version for Christmas, which was something I'd been wondering about for the sake of several family members with diabetes or pre-diabetes. There are plenty of recipes out there that use juice, honey, maple syrup, etc. rather than granulated sugar, and just a few that use sugar-substitutes like Splenda.

    p.s. cranberry sauce on waffles is EXCELLENT.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    548
    I let it boil quite a long time, maybe 30? I add a quarter cup of Grand Marnier at the end. I've also frozen small batches of sauce before. I love putting it on oatmeal.

 

 

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