For a new twist on traditional Cranberry Sauce, it couldn't be much simpler than this. Once you make this fresh version, you probably won't buy canned or pre-made cranberry sauce ever again. I especially like the way the cranberries crackle & pop as they're cooking!
I've made the Cranberry~Orange Relish recipe on the back of the bag of some brands of big-name fresh cranberries, but this recipe is much different because it skips the step of chopping the orange peel (yet still has that great orange flavor.) It offers plenty of variations. And it contains pears, which I adore. Oh, one more major difference: this recipe includes cooking the cranberries, which reduces their acidity and results in a smoother consistency -- better for spreading on those post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.
I have plenty of other ideas for using Bosc Pear-Cranberry-Orange Sauce...see below*.
Makes 3 pints, or 6 half pints
- 1-12 ounce bag fresh or frozen whole cranberries (~3 cups)
- 3 fresh pears, cored and chopped, peeling optional (~3 cups)
- 1-1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional, add one or more of the following:
1 tablespoon raisins or currants, 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest, 1 tablespoon candied (chopped) orange peel, 1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger root, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, pinch of ground cloves
Note: Prepare canning jars and keep hot until ready to use; prepare lids according to the manufacturer's instructions.
1.) Rinse cranberries and pick through them, discarding any that look old/shriveled.
2.) Combine all main ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pan. In other words, don't use an aluminum, copper, or cast iron pan when cooking with high acid foods. If you are using any of the optional ingredients, add them after you have finished mashing (step 4).
3.) Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
4.) Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Once the cranberries start to pop, you can mash them a bit with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon, but it isn't necessary. If you want a chunkier sauce, stir but don't mash the mixture.
Because of the high levels of natural pectin in the cranberries, the sauce thickens quickly once the cranberries skins have started to (audibly) burst. The sauce should be finished cooking within 5 minutes after the cranberries have popped, so be prepared to remove your pan from the heat.
The cranberry sauce will keep for 3 months in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, or 6 months in the freezer.
5.) To process: If you would rather process the jars fro shelf-stability, ladle the sauce into clean hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace .
6.) Carefully remove any air bubbles using a chopstick or plastic knife.
7.) Wipe rims spotlessly clean with a damp paper towel and place a lid on top of jar. Next, screw a band onto the jar until it's "fingertip-tight".
8.) Place jars on rack in boiling water bath canner or large stockpot, and be sure jars are covered with at least 1" of boiling water. You might need to add more HOT water; it helps to have a tea kettle simmering on the back burner for this.
Never pour cold water over hot glass jars! The jars can crack, break or shatter.
9.) Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bring water to a boil.
10.) Process half-pint or pint jars for 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath. Adjust times* for sea level - see chart below.
11.) Turn kettle off and let jars rest in kettle for 5 more minutes.
12.) Remove jars from kettle using jar-lifter tongs, and gently set aside to cool on the counter, on a kitchen towel, in a draft-free place.
13.) Let rest for 24 hours, then check jars for a proper seal before storing.
14.) If jars lid seals it will easily keep for one year in a cool, dark place. If jar doesn't seal, place it in your refrigerator and eat within 3 months, and within one month after opening.
Important: Check lids for a proper seal by pressing down on the middle of the lid with a finger or thumb. If the lid stays down, it is sealed and will easily keep for up to one year in a cool dark place. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid is not properly sealed.
*0-1000 ft: process 10 minutes
1,001-6,000 ft: process 15 minutes
Above 6,000 ft: process 20 minutes
*Ideas on how to use Bosc Pear-Cranberry-Orange Sauce in other recipes:
- Whir in a blender with your favorite vinaigrette recipe to make a sassy salad dressing.
- Incorporate a bit into a smoothie for extra Vitamin C.
- Put a dollop on your non-fat yogurt.
- Spoon over vanilla ice cream.
- Add a dab to dress up a slice of plain cheesecake.