Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce is very easy to make.  If you can't get fresh cranberries you can make it from dried ones.  This is a must for the holiday season.

You would normally use 8 cups of fresh berries you will only need 6 cups of dried ones.  This recipe was done using dried berries.

6 cups of dried cranberries (If using fresh berries, you need 8 cups)
4 cups granulated sugar
4 cups water  (I used what I drained from the berries)
Zest of one orange (optional)
1/3 cup of clear jel (Optional if using dried cranberries and your sauce doesn't thicken up enough)

Yields 4 to 5 pints of sauce

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and pour over your berries.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to re-hydrate them.  While your berries are re-hydrating, get your canner and jars ready.  

Drain the liquid off of your berries into a clean pot.  As you can see from mine, they were sliced in half before drying.  This is what they look like after they have been re-hyrated.

Mix sugar and water in a stainless steel pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat stirring to dissolve sugar.  Boil hard for 5 minutes.  

Add your berries and bring back to a boil.  Boil gently for about 15 minutes.  It should start to thicken and sheet from a spoon but with dried berries it doesn't get quite as thick as I like.  Now take 1/3 cup of clear jel and mix with 1/2 cup of water.  Add this and your orange zest  to your sauce and stir until thick as you like.  

Ladle hot sauce into jars leaving 1/4 inch of head space.  Use a chop stick or something similar to remove air bubbles.  Adjust head space and wipe rims of jars with a paper towel dipped in vinegar to ensure a good seal.  

Put on lids and rings and tighten down finger tight.  Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Adjust time for altitude.  

Turn off heat and wait 5 minutes before taking jars from canner.  Place jars on counter to cool for 24 hours.  Test seal by pressing thumb in center of jar.  Remove rings.  Wash jars.  Label and Store in a cool, dark room.