When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a total traditionalist. I don’t stray far from the classics, and I stick with what I know and love. My Thanksgiving table usually includes the following items: a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts and/or green beans, cranberry sauce, my Grandma’s rolls, and a green salad. I wasn’t lying when I said I’m a traditionalist. This is a very typical Thanksgiving spread.
Granted, that doesn’t mean that I do the things the same way every year. On the contrary, I’m always looking to improve and update the Thanksgiving classics. While I insist that there must be cranberry sauce on the table every Thanksgiving, I don’t want the same old cranberry sauce every single year. So, I try to switch things up a bit every year.
This year, I decided to can my own cranberry sauce. I adore cranberry sauce and am often frustrated by the fact that you can only find it in stores during the holidays. If given the option, I would probably eat a turkey cranberry sandwich for lunch every day of the year. I also love cranberry sauce when it’s baked with brie cheese and wrapped in puff pastry. I love cranberry hand pies. You get the idea…
So, I decided to make a big batch of cranberry sauce to last me through the winter. I tried out a few different cranberry sauces this year and I eventually settled on this recipe. It’s lovely. The Juniper berries give the sauce a really interesting hint of fresh, green pine. The orange juice adds balance and brightness. And, the honey and brown sugar combine to round out the sauce and give it just the right amount of sweetness. (Note: This cranberry sauce is quite tart, but you could easily up the sugar levels depending on your taste and preference.)
Whatever your holiday traditions may be, I’d encourage you to include this cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving table this year. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Lastly, tune in this Sunday, November 24th, to KPAM 860 for Missy Maki’s Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving Show! I’ll be on air – along with a group of fantastic food bloggers – and we’ll be talking about our Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving recipes. It’s going to be a blast, so be sure to listen in!
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!
- 12 cups fresh organic cranberries
- 3 cups orange juice
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons dried juniper berries
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- The zest of 1 orange
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Wash and sterilize jars and lids and prepare a hot water bath for canning.
- With a mortar and pestle, crush and grind the dried Juniper berries.
- In a large pot, cook 10 cups of cranberries (reserve 2 cups for later), orange juice, wine, rosemary, and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Add in most of the honey and brown sugar, and stir. Taste the sauce and add the rest of the honey and sugar, if needed. (I found that even with the honey and brown sugar, the sauce is still quite tart.) Add additional juniper, rosemary, or orange juice if necessary.
- Simmer until sauce thickens and reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. (15+ minutes)
- Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add the remaining 2 cups of cranberries. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes.
- Fill hot, sterilized jars with the cranberry sauce, leaving 1/4″ of head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe down the rims of the jars, and place lids and rings on each jar. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Adapted from Local Kitchen Blog