With its vibrant color and sweet, burst-in-your-mouth berries, cranberry sauce is the quintessential Thanksgiving side. If you've never made homemade cranberry sauce, I highly recommend you try it. The delicious fragrance will warm your house, and it's really not that difficult to make! Sure you could pop open a can, but why not experiment with one of these recipes? The first is super easy and the second is a teeny bit harder, so choose the recipe that best fits your holiday menu. For both recipes,
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen cranberries
1 jar (12 oz.) red-currant jelly
- In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries and jelly.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and liquid has reduced to a syrup, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish, and let cool. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
4 (12-oz.) bags cranberries, thawed if frozen
3 cups sugar
3 1/3 cups cold water
2 tbsp. unflavored gelatin (from three 1/4-oz. envelopes)
Special equipment: a 3 1/2-cup nonreactive decorative mold or 10 individual (1/3-cup) decorative molds
- Bring cranberries, sugar, and 3 cups water to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until all berries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour into a large fine-mesh sieve set over a 2-quart glass measure or a bowl and let stand until all juices have drained through, about 30 minutes. If necessary, press on solids until there is enough juice to measure 3 cups, then discard solids.
- Stir together gelatin and remaining 1/3-cup water and let stand 1 minute to soften.
- Bring 1 cup drained cranberry liquid to a simmer in a small saucepan, then add gelatin mixture and stir until just dissolved.
- Add gelatin mixture to remaining cranberry liquid and stir well.
- Pour cranberry sauce into lightly oiled mold and chill, covered with plastic wrap, until firmly set, at least 12 hours.
- To unmold, run tip of a thin knife between edge of mold and cranberry sauce. Tilt mold sideways and tap side of mold against a work surface, turning it, to evenly break seal and loosen cranberry sauce. Keeping mold tilted, invert a plate over mold, then invert cranberry sauce onto plate.