This sauce is, of course, made out of cranberries and is often served as a condiment with thanksgiving dinner in most parts of North America. In the UK, cranberry sauce is often served with Christmas dinner. It is is also often referred to as cranberry jelly. Just like any other sauce,this sauce has many different methods of preparations. The different flavors are brought out by the various ingredients that go into making the sauce. That is why the sauce in North America has a distinct sweet taste while it in many areas in Europe has a slightly sour taste.
Cranberry sauce first hit the North American market in 1912, Hanson, Massachusetts. Canned cranberry sauce appeared on the market in 1941 which allowed this product to be sold all year round.
History and background of cranberry sauce
Cranberries are native to North America. In fact, this berry used to grow in so many locations in the North that even the Natives used the berry in their food and as medicine too. When the pilgrims migrated to the area, they quickly fell in love with these berries. Thus began the tradition of consuming cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.
Cranberry sauce has been a part of America’s culinary history and documentation can be found dating as far back as the 19th century. Although the recipe may vary from place to place, the gist of it always remains to boil the berries with sugar. The recipes range from simple ones to very complex ones.
In the 1930s harvesting of cranberries shifted from dry harvesting to wet harvesting. This is due to the fact that dry harvesting is a very labor intensive affair. The shift brought with it increase in the efficiency of the bog which led to the birth of the cranberry industry that lives on today.
The sauce has been canned since 1912. Canning was actually a solution to the problem that plagued the plantations at the time- harvesting imperfect berries. By canning the berries, the harvest was able to last from September through out November. That is how cranberry sauce become popular especially around thanksgiving.
While there may have been several modifications to the recipe of jellied cranberry sauce, the overall recipe remains quite intact. The jelly is simply set in the can and the naturally occurring pectin cause the cranberries to solidify.
Ingredients in a good cranberry sauce can be: Cranberries, Orange juice, Zest, Ginger, Maple syrup, Port, Cinnamon, Silvered almonds.
How to prepare
As mentioned, there are several ways to prepare cranberry sauce. The easiest method is whereby cranberries are boiled in some sugar water until the berries pop and form a thick syrupy mixture. See my full recipe at the bottom.
What goes well with cranberry sauce?
The sauce is an important part of thanksgiving dinner in many parts of North America. This sauce is also often served at thanksgiving in several provinces in Canada. This sauce is served with turkey during this occasion. In other parts of the world such as the UK, cranberry sauce is served together with Christmas dinner.
- 335 g Cranberries
- 200 g Sugar
- 235 ml Orange juice
- Put sugar and orange juice in a pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the cranberries and boil for aprox. 10 min until the berries begin to burst.Take of the pot and then the sauce is ready to serve.
- If you want a thicker sauce then boil them a bit longer but be aware that the sauce also gets thicker as it cools.
- If you want a sauce which is a bit out of the ordinary try adding a bit of cinnamon, ginger, zest or port. This twist the taste a bit and gives it a uniqueness.