Charming and creative cranberry sauce recipes from years ago
Cranberries, like the turkey, have become traditional for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners — and although it is the turkey that reigns supreme, it is classic cranberry sauce that adds the ruby-red jewel.
Cranberry sauce is perhaps the most popular use of these berries. However, the use of cranberries has greatly increased in the past decade, and the deliciously tart berries are used in a wide variety of ways — including breads, salads and juices.
To savor the goodness of cranberries all year, freeze some of the berries now during the fresh cranberry season, while the berries are plump and firm.
Frozen cranberries can be used as successfully as fresh berries in most recipes. Don’t thaw the berries. Give them a quick rinse in cold water, then grind or chop them as you would fresh berries. Most cranberry dishes also freeze well and make welcome gifts for the holidays.
For last-minute cooks, here is a recipe for 10-minute cranberry sauce.
4 cups (1 lb.) fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 to 2 cups water
Combine cranberries, sugar and water in saucepan. (Add one cup of water and the rest according to juice content of berries.) Heat to boiling point, stirring until sugar dissolves; then boil rapidly until berries pop open (about 5 minutes). Makes 1 quart cranberry sauce.
For a thicker sauce: Continue cooking until berries are mushy and liquid somewhat reduced. Sauce will become jelly-like when chilled.
For a spicy sauce: Stir in a few whole cloves and a cinnamon stick while berries are cooking.
For a tangy sauce: Add 1 teaspoon or more grated lemon peel after removing from heat.
For a wine-flavored sauce: Reduce liquid to 1-1/2 cups and cook as directed. When cooled to room temperature, stir in 1/4 cup or more wine. Serve on pancakes with a sprinkle of brown sugar or drizzle of maple syrup.
For cranberry-pineapple sauce: Make fresh cranberry sauce, however, reduce the water by 1 cup and add a 1-pound, 4-ounce can undrained crushed pineapple. Simmer just until cranberries begin to pop.
For variety, substitute strawberry or orange gelatin mix — regular or sugar-free.
4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups water
4-serving envelope cherry gelatin (regular or sugar-free)
Combine cranberries and water in a saucepan. Cover and simmer over very low heat until cranberries have popped open. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin until it is completely dissolved. Pour into covered jar and chill in refrigerator until set. Makes 10 servings, about 50 calories each with regular gelatin; only 25 calories sugar-free.
Wash and clean cranberries. Add no water (what clings to the berries after washing will be sufficient). Add lemons and sugar. Cook over slow heat about 20 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. The cranberries will split their skins when cooked. Sauce will thicken when it cools.
Baked classic cranberry sauce recipe for your Thanksgiving turkey
You can slow-bake this in the oven along with your turkey.
4 cups (1 quart) fresh cranberries
4 tablespoons water OR sweet red wine
Wash cranberries and combine with water or wine in a covered casserole dish. Slow-bake until berries pop open, about 45 minutes at 300 degrees, or about 30 minutes at 325. Serve warm or chilled. (Tart and tangy with no sweetener added, or sweeten to taste with a few drops of honey, sugar, or sugar substitute.) Makes 8 servings.