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Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Posted by Denise on November 26, 2014

Cranberry sauce in red bowl

So simple to make, homemade jellied cranberry sauce tastes sooooo much better than store bought ones.

Happy Thanksgiving! And what’s a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner without cranberry sauce? Slightly sweet but with a tangy fruit flavor, cranberry sauce brings a welcome tartness to the holiday table. And on leftover turkey sandwiches it’s wonderful!

We’ve always relied on the canned version of jellied cranberry sauce. You know the one. We coax it out of the can in a whole lump complete with decorative rings from the can on it. Until this year, that is. I don’t know why it took me this long to try to make it myself. It’s so easy that I’ll make it from scratch from now on. The flavor is better, too. With only 3 ingredients, it’s easy for the cranberry to shine. And the added bonus is that you can make it as tart or as sweet as you want it!



Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce



jellied cranberry sauce ingredients

Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce ingredients.



Makes about 2 cups of sauce, enough for 6-8 servings




cups of fresh or frozen whole cranberries

1 ½

cups water


cups granulated sugar, depending on taste and tartness of fruit


1.   Pick over the cranberries and rinse them off, discarding discolored or soft berries and stems.  If you plan to use a mold to shape the cranberry sauce, wash and spray the mold with cooking spray to allow easy release when you’re ready to plate the sauce.

 Rejected cranberries


2.   Place the cranberries in a medium sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the water to the pan. Over medium heat, bring the water/cranberries to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer the cranberries until the berries are tender. Some of them will split open and that’s fine.

 cooking raw cranberries


3.   Set up a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized bowl. Working with a small batch at a time, pour some of the liquid and berries from the pan into the strainer set. Using a spoon, mash the berries through the mesh and into the bowl, leaving the skin, any seeds and other things behind. Dump the stuff remaining in the strainer out after each batch. Continue mashing through the strainer until all of the berries and liquid have been processed. Wipe the pan out and pour the strained pulp back into the pan.

 Straining cranberries Straining cranberries for sauce

cranberry pulp


4.   Place the pan of pulp back on the stove and turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil again. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat to medium low and add the sugar, stirring it in well. Simmer the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for setting point by spooning a small amount out onto a plate and allowing it to cool. If it congeals, it is ready. If it stays liquid, keep simmering the sauce for another minute or two and test it again. Once it congeals properly, pour the sauce into a mold and allow to cool, then cover it well. If not using a mold, pour the sauce into a clean jar and allow to cool before sealing. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 adding sugar to cranberry pulp

cranberry sauce simmering


5.   To unmold the sauce, carefully run a clean knife between the cranberry sauce and the side of the mold to loosen it and invert the serving plate on top. Carefully flip it over so the mold is on top of the plate, then lift the mold off. If you used a jar, spoon the sauce into a serving bowl in chunks.

 cranberry sauce in square mold cranberry sauce in bowl

  jellied cranberry sauce in red bowl 2


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