A blog about gardening, canning, quilting, family, saving money, and product reviews

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Homemade and home-canned cranberry sauce!

Thanksgiving is almost here, and cranberries are popping up in stores. For years, I wondered what I could do with fresh cranberries. Last year we made homemade cranberry sauce and it was such a hit. Now, this year, I used a bit different recipe, but it turned out great. So, fill up the canner, grab some cranberries (I see there was a $1/1 coupon in toady's paper) and let's get to cooking!

If you want to preserve this, you are going to need to get your boiling water canner going, fill it up so it'll be enough to go over the jars with an inch or more above the top of the jars, and get it boiling. Gather your jars, lids, and rings. Add the jars to the boiling water canner so they can come up to temperature.

I started out by bringing 8 cups of water and 8 cups of sugar to a boil.

Yup, you are gonna need a bigger pot...hold up...

There we go! So, as I was saying, bring the mix to a boil, and let it boil hard for about 5 minutes. Boiling hard would mean that when you stir the boiling liquid, it continues to boil as your spoon passes over it. 

Let's wash some cranberries. I had 3 bags, so about 36 oz, just over 2 pounds.

And go ahead and add them to the pot of boiling sugar water.

The cranberries will start to make popping sounds. This is good. The goal is to get all of the cranberries to pop. The cranberries will release their beautiful red color, and add the necessary pectin to get this to want to come together like a jelly (we are NOT going for the can shaped gelatinous mass here).

After quite a bit of boiling away, the cranberry sauce will start to thicken, and when it boils will make bits of sauce go flying up (clue #1 that you are getting close if it starts popping you in the hand). Clue #2, it'll start to "round up" on the spoon. This means that it'll start to cling to the spoon. And if you put some on a plate, let it cool down a bit, and tip the plate, it won't run off like water, but rather it'll stay clumped together and slide around. I test this several times until I'm completely happy. It should start to look like this:

See how it is definitely sliding on the plate but is staying together as a clump? It's about ready. Keep going until you are happy with the consistency. Now we are ready to can this up! Remember when you remove the jars from the water bath to fill them up, dump some hot water over your lids in a bowl to help soften the sealing compound.

I'm using 8 ounce jelly jars. Fill the jars up to about 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the rims place on the lids and the rings. Finger tighten. Place in the water bath. When the water bath gets back up to a boil, start a timer for 15 minutes (adjusted for your elevation, remember I'm about 5k so I need to add 10 minutes, I'm processing for 25 minutes today).

When the jars are done processing, remove them from the water bath. Allow them to cool completely (overnight is best). Label the jars with the contents, and remove the rings for safe storage. 

What we now have is perfect cranberry sauce, just in time for Thanksgiving. It's not going to be the can-shaped gelatinous mass you find in a can at the store. Instead, this can be scooped out and placed on whatever food you wish to pair it with. It's great for making meatloaf, and piling on top of turkey and stuffing. 

I hope you enjoy!

'Til next time,


The recipe used in this post came from the Ball website here: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/cranberry-sauce-recipe 

No comments:

Post a Comment