Cranberry Sauce-What Went Wrong?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jte1130, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. jte1130

    jte1130

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    It goes against everything a cooking lover believes in but I've always been partial to cranberry sauce that comes out shaped like the can. :blush:
    This year I decided I would forgo my favorite cranberry sauce and make my own. It smelled great. Tasted wayyyyyy too tart though. Where did I go wrong? Or did I not go wrong at all. Is homemade cranberry sauce naturally tart? The recipe was as follows:

    1/2 pound fresh cranberries
    1 tablespoon grated orange zest
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1/4 cup fresh orange juice
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups water
    3 tablespoons cornstarch

    Put the cranberries, orange and lemon zest, orange and lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of the water in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes.
     
  2. chefatl

    chefatl

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    First off, not nearly enough sugar. I use 3 cups per pound. secondly, you need to cook your cranberry sauce longer. For 1 pound I cook mine at a low simmer for roughly 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
     
  3. jte1130

    jte1130

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    For that amount of cooking time do the berries disintigrate? I was left with some solid but soft berries and some that were total mush.
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Yes, cranberries are naturally VERY tart, and the added lemon juice makes the sauce more so. I don't know that I'd use quite as much sugar as chefATL suggests, but 1/2 cup does seem like too little. As for the cooking time, some whole, some soft, and some disintegrated sounds right. If you want them all to get soft, cook it a few minutes longer. Finally, no need for the cornstarch. :rolleyes: If you use more sugar and bring it to a good boil for a few minutes, it will thicken on its own.

    I hope you kept any leftover, because you can fix it! Put it back in a pot, heat it, stir in sugar a tablespoonful at a time until the sugar has melted and it all tastes right to you, and then refrigerate in a clean container.

    BTW: I also love the stuff in the can! :p
     
  5. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    My mom always used a cup per bag of fresh cranberries, but sometimes more was needed- they are a natural produce and vary a little. I noticed that when I made cranberry relish (uncooked) this year; it needed a couple of tablespoons more than a cup of sweetening (I used a cup of Splenda and a couple of tablespoons of sugar, along with a whole small orange and a whole small lemon.)
     
  6. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I don't add lemon, orange yes, a bit of clove. Also, for a 1 lb bag of fresh cranberries I use 1 cup of sugar. It doesn't have to cook very long at all just till the berries start to pop and it thickens.
     
  7. castironchef

    castironchef

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    I like it tart, so I only use 1/2 cup sugar per bag of cranberries. Most people go with a full cup.

    However, if you're used to the canned stuff, you're also used to very, very sweet cranberry sauce.

    As for cooking time, with the simple syrup and berries method, you only need to bring to a boil for 5 minutes or so (until you hear the berries popping) and then simmer for a bit. When it cools, the sauce will be thickened by the cranberries' pectin and will be a chunky with the burst berries.

    If you're looking for a sweet, smooth, gelatinous mass like the one with ridges, stick with the canned stuff.
     
  8. jock

    jock

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    I suppose the amount of sugar depends somewhat on what liquid you use to make the sauce.

    I sometimes have used apple juice, OJ, plain water and this year (from Bon Appetit) mulled wine. They all need different amounts of sugar. Generally speaking though, about a cup per 12 oz bag.

    Jock
     
  9. shahed

    shahed

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    mines very simillar to chefatl's

    Very simple and works perfectly

    1lb cranberries
    2.5 cups caster suger
    cover with water
    simmer for 1-2hrs until sauce reaches required consistency
     
  10. lentil

    lentil

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    Mine also uses 1.5c sugar/lb of cranberries, but I add 1T horseradish and 1T dijon mustard. I bring it to a boil, simmer for a few minutes and it is perfectly gelled. The horseradish and mustard are added after I take it off the heat.