I blame Ocean Spray for my love of cranberries. My favorite juice as a kid was CranApple, followed closely by CranGrape. I probably could have consumed the entire bottle in a single day. Of course the juice police (read:MOM) made sure that didn’t happen, but that didn’t mean I gave up loving the taste of cranberries and apples together.
I’ve grown since then, and so have my taste buds, as it usually happens. I don’t often drink CranApple juice as it doesn’t match the taste of my childhood memories. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the juice, it just means I find my search for cranberry and apple combinations extends beyond the juice bottle. One of my favorite ways to enjoy that combination now is in the form of cranberry sauce.
If you haven’t tried making your own cranberry sauce, now’s the time to give it a go. It is incredibly easy to make and the flavor is fantastic. The first time I made my own cranberry sauce I just couldn’t believe that was all there was to it. It’s simple, flavorful, and filled with nostalgic memories that won’t disappoint tastebuds, child-like or otherwise.
1 cup Water
3/4 cup Sugar
pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Apple Juice Concentrate
1 12 ounce bag Fresh Cranberries, rinsed
1 Tablespoon Orange Marmalade (optional)
Combine water, sugar, salt and apple juice concentrate in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Once the water mixture is boiling, add cranberries. Return to boil and reduce heat, letting berries boil for 10 minutes. You may hear a popping sound. This is normal. The cranberries are breaking down and releasing their pectin, which is what makes the sauce gel.
After the cranberries have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and carefully stir in the marmalade, if using. The marmalade may splatter a bit. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a heatproof dish to cool completely.
If you’d like a sauce without the berries, strain through a strainer into a heatproof dish, pressing through with a rubber spatula. Discard the berry skins and cool the sauce until ready to serve.