Cranberry sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce versus The Mold

At our house, some people like homemade cranberry sauce, but for other people it’s not Thanksgiving without the kind of cranberry sauce that dumps out of the can in one piece and stands up in the bowl in one quivering glistening cylinder. So we always have both on the table. This is a recipe for the homemade kind.

I don’t just serve it at Thanksgiving, though. I buy several bags of cranberries when they’re available, in November and December, and freeze them. Then all winter we can have cranberry sauce on squash souffles and duck, and I can make mock cherry pie. Don’t wait – after Christmas, it’s almost impossible to buy cranberries.

How to make cranberry sauce:

In a medium sized saucepan, put half a bag of frozen cranberries over medium heat. Add a cup of sugar, and enough water to come about halfway up the cranberries. Mix, and let it cook for about fifteen minutes, or until the cranberries have melted and then burst and formed a lumpy mass. Take the cranberry sauce off the heat and put it in a pretty bowl. It will get thicker and more gelled as it cools.

You can also make cranberry sauce in a microwave. Pour half a bag of cranberries into a bowl. Add a cup of sugar and enough water to come about 1/4 of the way up the cranberries (not very much water). Mix, cover with a plate, and microwave about three minutes, or until the cranberries burst as above.

If you want to get fancy, you can add additional things to the cranberry sauce as it cooks. A teaspoon of lemon zest is good, or a handful of raisins. Or try adding fresh ginger, or a teaspoon of cloves or cinnamon, or a teaspoon of pepper, or red pepper flakes.

Vegetarian or Vegan?

Cranberry sauce itself is vegan, of course, but what can you put cranberry sauce on that’s also vegan? Try it on baked potatoes, or bread stuffing, or make a mock cherry pie.

What can I do with leftover cranberry sauce?

Cranberry sauce will keep in a tupperware for several weeks in the refrigerator. It’s good on squash soufflĂ©, or with caramelized cabbage. (But neither of those is vegan.)

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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