Cranberry Sauce

Cran­ber­ry jel­ly: The bal­lis­tics gel of the berry uni­verse.

Here is my very favorite recipe for cran­ber­ry jel­ly:

  • Buy a can of cran­ber­ry jel­ly.
  • Throw it in the trash and make some­thing else.

I don’t like cran­ber­ry jel­ly. It’s just red wig­gly stuff. Looks a lot more like bal­lis­tics gel than it does food.

Fresh cran­ber­ries, on the oth­er hand? They’re ossim.

The large-batch recipe makes about 5 pints; the small­er one about half that.

    • Ingre­di­ents for large batch:
    • 8 cups cran­ber­ries (about 2 lb.)
    • 4 cups sug­ar
    • 4 cups water
    • 13 cup orange, lemon or lime juice
    • 14 to 12 tsp. or more of some­thing hot: Cayenne pep­per, Sriracha, what­ev­er you like. I like to put in a pinch of ghost pep­per salt.
  • OPTIONS: 
    • Replace 1 tbsp. of juice with 1 tbsp. vanil­la extract
    • Replace 1 tbsp. juice for grat­ed zest of one large orange, lime or lemon
    • Replace a table­spoon or two of juice with bal­sam­ic vine­gar
    • Ingre­di­ents for small batch:
    • 12 oz. cran­ber­ries (about 3 cups)
    • 1 12 cups sug­ar
    • 1 12 cups water
    • 6 tbsp. orange, lemon or lime juice
    • 18 to 14 tsp. or more of some­thing hot: Cayenne pep­per, Sriracha, what­ev­er you like. I like to put in a pinch of ghost pep­per salt.
  • OPTIONS: 
    • Add 2 tsp. vanil­la extract
    • Replace 1 14 tsp. juice for grat­ed zest of one large orange, lime or lemon
    • Replace a tsp. or two of juice with bal­sam­ic vine­gar

Com­bine sug­ar and water in a large stain­less steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir­ring to dis­solve sug­ar. Boil hard for 5 min­utes.

Add cran­ber­ries and return mix­ture to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gen­tly, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until all berries burst and liq­uid begins to sheet from a met­al spoon; around 15 min­utes.

Stir in the juice the last few min­utes of cook­ing, plus any option­al ingre­di­ents.

If You’re Canning:

Ladle hot cran­ber­ry sauce into hot jars, leav­ing 14 inch head­space. Remove air bub­bles and adjust head­space, if nec­es­sary, by adding hot cran­ber­ry sauce.

Wipe rim. Put lids and rings on your jars, fin­ger­tip tight.

Process jars in a boil­ing water can­ner for 15 min­utes, adjust­ing for alti­tude if nec­es­sary (see below). Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when cen­ter is pressed.

Alti­tude: Increase Pro­cess­ing Time:
1,000 ft — 3,000 ft 5 min­utes
3,000 ft — 6,000 ft 10 min­utes
6,000 ft — 8,000 ft 15 min­utes
8,000 ft — 10,000 ft 20 min­utes