My mom always made cranberry sauce from whole berries for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. And like so many of what I thought were “family recipes,” it turns out that she just followed the directions on the back of the package! LOL
So I’ve branched out over the years to try fancier versions – but Mom’s recipe (aka Ocean Spray’s) usually wins the popular vote at family dinners. But my own personal favorite is the hybrid recipe I’ve listed last. It’s Mom’s basic recipe, just kicked up a notch.
Mom’s / Ocean Spray’s Original Cranberry Sauce
1 bag (12 oz) whole cranberries
Put everything in a pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. It will be pretty runny at this point but don’t worry – it gets thicker as it cools.
I think I got this recipe from a gal named Megan who I used to work with at American Invsco. It’s ok, but kinda fussy. (although Aunt Bette loves it – it’s the cranberry sauce she always makes now).
2c cranberries (less than a whole bag)
1/4c fresh OJ
1c light brown sugar
5 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
a pinch of hot red pepper flakes
Cook as above; fish out the whole spices the best you can before serving.
Spiced Cranberries, Simplified
This is the version I’ve settled on as my favorite. It’s almost as easy as Mom’s original version; but with the added interest of the spices.
1, 12-oz bag of cranberries
1-1/2c water (it will boil down to 1 cup)
5 allspice berries (I didn’t have berries so I used about half of an 1/8 teaspoon measure)
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 c orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed (optional)
Put water and spices in a pan and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer for 15-30 minutes. Fish out the spices, then add cranberries and sugar. Finish cooking as above.