If you have ten minutes, a bag of cranberries, and a half a glass of orange juice, then you've totally got this. I have to admit I love the canned jellied cranberry sauce we eat on Thanksgiving, but this is way better and just as cheap. You can either refrigerate, freeze, or hot water bath can your jars. My recipe makes one pint or two half pint jars of cranberry sauce.
Smooth Cranberry Sauce
One 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries (rinsed well)
One cup of sugar
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of water
the zest of an orange is optional, I didn't but it would add something.
1. On medium high heat, bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a medium pan.
2. Let it boil for about ten minutes, stirring well to prevent scorching. I had to turn my heat down a little bit when I noticed the pan was a little too hot and the sauce was sticking to the bottom. You really want to boil this well so that the cranberries pop and release their juice.
3. Once the mixture is thickened nicely (you can thank all of the pectin in those cranberries), remove from heat and strain with a metal sieve or food mill to remove stems, skins, etc etc.
4. Pour into one pint sized jar or two half pint jars. Be sure to use wide mouth if you want the look of the typical "jellied"cranberry sauce you can 'plop' into a dish and slice for your guests this Thanksgiving :) To get it to come out of the container nicely just run some hot water around the outside of the jar and loosen along the inside rim with a small spatula. It should be served chilled.
If you are having problems with the sauce thickening, you need to boil it longer. I promise this works. And don't use a sugar substitute, because the pectin in the cranberries reacts with the sugar to thicken the mixture once you boil it. It doesn't work the same with splenda/honey/agave nectar you healthy people. The sauce thickens up a lot once you allow it to cool and chill it. I love this recipe on biscuits or with turkey or on a sandwich. Mixed in with vanilla yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon for breakfast. Also just by itself on a spoon. :D