How to Make Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Are you tired of the bland, nasty-looking jellied cranberry sauce from the grocery store?  Which would you rather serve? The homemade, fresh and natural jellied cranberry sauce at left, plain or in a mold... or something that schloops out of a can, at right?

Wouldn't you rather have fresh, preservative-free homemade cranberry sauce? It is SO easy to make - from start to finish only about 15 minutes. It's perfect with chicken, turkey, Christmas, Thanksgiving and the winter months! The bright color livens up any dinner table, kids love it and it is  loaded with vitamin C and fiber.  You can make it with sugar or honey.

It is easy to make to eat now, or to can, if you want some for weeks or months later! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated.

Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of 12 months to 18 months, and require no special attention.

Other cranberry facts?  They're very rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants! Recent research shows that cranberries are effective at preventing UTI's (urinary tract infections!).  In England the local variety is known as whortleberries, wortleberries or bilberries.  Where the name "worthleberry" or "whortleberry" comes from, I do not know; but you can find the low growing plants in Wales! In

Directions for Making Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Makes about 1 quart of jellied cranberry sauce

Ingredients

If you plan to can it for later:

 

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Get your cranberries

There are very few places to pick your own, but happily, they store and transport well, so there probably isn't much difference.  Most grocery stores sell the 12 oz bags. Look for firm berries with a dark color.

 

 

Step 2 - If you are canning: Wash the jars and lids

If you will be canning the cranberry sauce, now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. If you're not canning the sauce, just skip this step. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot jellied cranberry sauce.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.

Step 2- Wash the cranberries

Pour them in to a large bowl of cold water, and swirl them around, scoop them out with your fingers, feeling for any mushy berries, as you scoop.  Discard any mushy, soft berries.

The picture of the 4 berries shows you unripe through ripe.  I'd throw out the one on the far left, but use the other 3.

Step 3 - Cook the cranberries

Put in just enough cranberry juice (or water or apple juice), a half cup of orange juice (optional)  in a pot, get it boiling!

Step 4 - Add the cranberries

Pour the cranberries in.  Let them cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice (you'll hear the berries popping, as the berries cook - you'll kids will get a kick out of that). Once half the berries are popped and the sauce feels mushy, it's done!  It should take no more than 10 minutes of cooking over medium heat.

Step 4 - Crush and strain the cranberries

A Foley food mill is perfect for this! You can use other types of strainers, such as the KitchenAid or a Roma / Villaware strainer.  In a pinch, a sieve and the bottom of a jar to mush them through the sieve will work, but not nearly as easily as a food mill.

To see a greater variety of strainers in other types, sizes, and prices, click here!

Another trick? Use a blender to puree the whole cooked berries; it's not as smooth as the strained, but uses the whole berry!

Step 5 - Add the pectin (optional)

Cranberries, if you don't overcook them, will usually set on their own. Cranberries have enough pectin naturally to set on their own, but it's a lot more certain to add the pectin and know it will set! If you make jam, you probably have some pectin handy.  Adding a half packet of it will ensure a good set. Again, it's not necessary, so don't panic if you haven't got it!

Step 6 - Heat the strained cranberries

Bring the strained cranberries with the pectin back to a boil.

Step 7 - Add the sugar and bring to a full boil for one minute

Add 2 cups of sugar. Of course, you can use other sweeteners, such as honey (2 cups), or even frozen concentrated fruit juice (like grape).

Bring it back to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Step 8 - Finishing up

To can, to store and eat later:

If you want to can for later, skip step 8 and jump to step 9.

To eat now:

If you don't plan to can any, you're done! Just pour into a mold or serving container, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve!

At left is a plain Pyrex baking dish.  I filled it, cooled it in the fridge then inverted on a plate!

TIP: to get the jellied cranberry sauce to come out of the mold intact, especially if it hasn't firmed up hard enough; I stick it in the freezer for about an hour or so. That makes it hard enough that if you run hot water over the outside bottom of the mold, and invert the mold, it should slide out easily and remain in tact.

Below is a silicone baking mold; again, just fill, chill and invert! I got this mold for $2.50 at Target. They also had snowmen molds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 9 - Fill the jars and process them in the water bath

The cranberry sauce does not need any further cooking; just keep it hot until you get enough made to fill the jars you will put into the canner (Canners hold seven jars at once, whether they are quart or pint size). Fill the jars (preferably wide mouth jars) to within 1/2 inch of the top, wipe any spilled cranberry sauce of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.  Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 min. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see this cart:

Recommended process time for Jellied Cranberry Sauce in a boiling-water canner.

  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Quart Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 20 25
Quarts 20 25 30 35

Step 10 - Remove and cool the jars - Done

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight)  You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

 

 

 

 


Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter - to remove lids from the pot of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid - disposable - you may only use them once
  4. Ring - holds the lids on the jar until after the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel - to fill the jars

 

 

 

 

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner and "Ball Blue Book" of canning.
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.


Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Home Canning Kits

Features:

  • Everything you need to get started with waterbath canning (fruits,pickles, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces and tomatoes)
  • 21-1/2 qt. enamel water bath canner
  • Funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble freer spatula
  • Ball Blue Book

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from cranberry sauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll never need anything else except more jars and lids!

Victorio V250 Food Strainer (the same as the comparable Villaware and Roma models)

With this Food and Vegetable Strainer, you'll be able to prepare more healthy foods, make natural sauces, soups and jams - even your own baby food! The tedious job of peeling and coring is eliminated as the strainer continuously separates the seeds and skins from the juices and pulp with just a turn of the handle. The highly polished body contains no paint or coatings that can chip or peel off, is easy to clean, and stands 19-in. high with the attached hopper. Click at left for more information, images accessories or to order.

Features:

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  • Manual crank system
  • Replaces peeling and coring
  • Assembly required
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  • Optional additional screens for berries, pumpkin, salsa, tomato sauce
 

Deluxe Food Strainer & Sauce Maker

See this page for more information, reviews, descriptions of other strainers and supplies or to order!

With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy apple sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/apple screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.

The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/Apple Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note

 

 

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

 

 

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids! To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!For more information and current pricing:

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually ships in 1-2 business days

     

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

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