Monday, November 24, 2008

Mom's Cranberries

Every year, for Thanksgiving, my Mom always made homemade cranberry sauce. For me, it was always one of the many reasons to look forward to Thanksgiving. Well, now, I'm happy that I get to be the one to continue that tradition. Actually, I think I might be the only person who stopped and asked my Mother how to make them. I asked her where she got the recipe (since it's slightly different from the recipe that's usually on a bag of fresh cranberries) and she told me that this was how her mother used to make them. Yes, it's easier to just open up a can of jellied cranberry sauce, but SERIOUSLY, there's really no comparison. Some people like to add oranges or other fruits, but I like them just by themselves. Simple and uncomplicated. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them! Give 'em a try!

1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz)
1 1/2 cups water (12 oz)
1 1/2 cups sugar (12 oz)

Place cranberries and water in a sauce pot and bring to a slow boil over medium high heat. As they cook, the berries will bubble and squeak and eventually they'll pop. When all the berries have popped, then it's time to remove the skins. The best way to do this is to use a food mill. Place the food mill over a large bowl and pour the cranberries and water into the bowl of the food mill. Turn the handle until all the pulp is pushed through to the bowl below, leaving the skins behind.
Now you're left with a thick cranberry puree. Pour the puree back into the sauce pot and add the sugar. Stir the sugar and puree over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. You don't want it to come to a boil. It should just be a low heat, and as my Mom used to always say it should just sort of go "bloop....... bloop...... bloop..." Know what I mean? Let it cook for about 35-40 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Pour the cranberry puree into a pretty glass serving bowl. Let it stand for a while until it cools to room temperature, then place the bowl in the fridge to chill. The puree will gel as it chills.

The cooking time doesn't have to be exact. It's very forgiving. I've let it go for 45 to 50 minutes and it still turned out fine. The longer you cook it, the thicker your cranberry sauce will be.
When you cook the cranberries with the sugar, the bubbles that form will sort of clump together and form a kind of cranberry foam on the top. When they're finished cooking, I always use a wire whisk to quickly stir out any foamy clumps. This will insure that the cranberries will have a nice smooth surface and a much prettier presentation when you serve them.

Original recipe UPDATE: 
The amounts in this recipe have been adjusted from the original post., which were originally 1 pound of each item, instead of 12oz. Since cranberries are now mainly available in 12 oz bags instead of one pound bags, I needed to change the amounts of sugar and water to insure the correct sugar to cranberry ratio. Otherwise, you might have a bit of a cranberry sitch, not unlike The Great Cranberry Debacle of 2009.
 Also one final note.. if you happen to be making quite a large batch, please be careful not to measure some things in cups and other things in pounds. You might confuse your amounts which would create another cranberry sitch.. not unlike The Great Cranberry Debacle of 2023...

1 comment:

Mike C said...

Thanks, Joey! Making some this morning, and the site is always our go-to reference for the recipe!