I never was a big fan of cranberries at Thanksgiving when I was younger. Several years ago at one of the first Thanksgivings I had at my house I decided to make my own cranberries from scratch. Boy was I glad that I did – they were so delicious; I’m not even sure why people buy the cranberries in a can from the store. They taste nothing like homemade.
This last weekend I made a big batch of spiced cranberries and canned my own. Now when I need them quick I’ll have them, but trust me, these DO NOT taste like the canned cranberries from the store.
Even if you do not have time to can your own, try making a batch just to eat fresh – you will never go back!
( I did a quadruple batch from this recipe to have enough to can)
2 C fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
Zest from 1 orange
1/2 C orange juice (I use the orange from zesting, but I usually do not get enough from the orange and have to add to it)
2 cinnamon sticks or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp whole cloves or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 C toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
Place the rinsed cranberries in a large pot. If using whole cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, place in a cheesecloth bag. If using ground cinnamon and ground cloves add that on top of the cranberries. Put all the rest of the ingredients into the pot, give a gently stir.
Bring all the ingredients to a boil on the stovetop. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. The cranberries will slowly break down – you may even hear “popping” noises as their skin bursts. You will know the cranberries are ready when a dollup of the cranberries on a plate doesn’t run. Another test is putting a dollup on a plate, put it in the freezer for a minute, then nudge the dollup and the “skin” will “wrinkle” – you’ll know what I mean when it happens.