Like most people, you probably only think of cranberry sauce during the holidays, particularly during Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, with these two holidays just around the corner, you’re probably getting ready for your yearly go-to cranberry sauce.
The problem is that store-bought cranberry sauce isn’t exactly a crowd-pleaser. They’re generally pretty bland, or they’re too sweet, or they’re too tart. No matter how you look at it, store-bought cranberry sauce just lacks that certain je ne sais quoi to elevate your holiday meal to a holiday FEAST.
Luckily for you, we’ve got just the thing here at CookingChew to transform your cran-“blehry” sauce to something that will get people lining up for more!
Give your usual holiday cranberry sauce a little bit more oomph with this delicious and easy homemade sauce recipe. Plus, because it’s all made from scratch, you’ll be able to make it as sweet, tart, thick, or thin as you want. The sweetness from this recipe comes from the maple syrup and the ripe pears; no refined sugars here! After trying this sauce, you’ll probably never pick up another bottle of store-bought cranberry sauce again!
- 12 oz. fresh cranberries
- 2 medium ripe pears
- 2 t. fresh ginger
- 3 T. fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 T. real maple syrup
- ¾ c. water
- Sea salt, to taste
- Peel ripe pears and dice. Set aside.
- Peel ginger and grate finely. Set aside.
- Finely dice rosemary leaves.
- Add cranberries, pears, ginger, rosemary leaves, maple syrup, and water in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to boil and the cranberries burst open, approximately 5 minutes.
- Once the mixture has reached a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. While cooking, mash cranberries and pears with a wooden spoon. Season with sea salt to taste and stir to combine.
- Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool down for around 15-20 minutes.
- Check the consistency of the sauce. If it is too thick, add a bit of water to thin out the sauce. Add a bit more maple syrup to make it sweeter, if desired.
If you want a smoother sauce, place half of the cranberry mixture into a food processor or blender and puree until completely smooth. Stir puree back into the remaining sauce and stir thoroughly to combine before serving.
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Sauce
Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
Yes, you can definitely freeze cranberry sauce! Homemade cranberry sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months, and it will still have that delicious, tangy flavor that will brighten up most of your dishes.
When freezing your sauce, make sure to put it in a Ziploc bag or an airtight glass jar to prevent freezer burn.
How to serve cranberry sauce
You can serve cranberry sauce in a variety of ways. You can serve it warm, at room-temperature, or chilled, depending on what you want to serve it with. If you’re going to serve it warm, cranberry sauce goes well with white or lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or pork. You can serve it on top of grilled pork chops or roasted chicken to brighten up the flavors of the dish. At room-temperature, cranberry sauce becomes a little bit firmer and gel-like in consistency, making it perfect for pairing with some crusty breed and cheese as part of an appetizer platter. Finally, if you’re serving it chilled, you can serve it with on top of vanilla ice cream or a slice of New York cheesecake!
What to do with leftover cranberry sauce
While we won’t blame you if there aren’t any leftovers after you make this easy cranberry sauce recipe, you might have some leftovers now and again! One great recipe that you can make with the leftovers (if you’re getting a bit tired of using the sauce as a topping) is this refreshing cranberry margarita!
How long does cranberry sauce last?
In the fridge, homemade cranberry sauce lasts from 10-14 days. In the freezer, it lasts for around 2 months. Whether you’re storing it in your fridge or freezer, make sure to use an airtight glass jar.
How to thicken cranberry sauce?
While this amazing cranberry sauce recipe will give you a moderately thick sauce, you might want to make it a little bit thicker. There are various ways you can thicken up cranberry sauce. First, you can boil down the sauce for a bit longer than the recipe calls for so that the natural sugars in the cranberry comes out even further. You can also add more sugar than the recipe calls for, but you might accidentally make the recipe a bit too sweet for your taste.
You can also try adding a thickener such as gelatin or cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water), but be careful! If you add too much thickener, you might end up with a cranberry jelly rather than a cranberry sauce!
Fresh vs. Canned/Frozen Cranberries
If it comes to the choice between fresh cranberries or frozen/canned cranberries, fresh cranberries will work best for this recipe! Using the ripe pears and maple syrup allows you to control the amount of sugar that you put into this recipe, and with many brands of canned/frozen cranberries, there is already quite a bit of processed sugar added into the cranberries.
What If I can’t Find Pure Maple Syrup?
If you can’t find pure maple syrup, you can use maple syrup substitutes such as honey or molasses.
The best thing about this recipe? It’s so versatile! You can use it in both sweet and savory recipes, ranging from breakfast (pancake toppings, anyone?), lunch, or dinner, or even as a great way to add more flavor to your desserts or beverages. Whip up a little bit more than you need, store it in your freezer, and use it whenever you’re looking for a little bit of holiday cheer.