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Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Last year’s cranberry sauce was such a success I thought I’d do it again. Only this time I’d make more than enough for dinner and then preserve the rest. Cranberry sauce shouldn’t be limited to the month of November, I tell you! And I plan to enjoy it all year round.

I used the same pomegranate-cranberry juice as I did last year, in place of the water. However I opted out of the added pectin, and simply cooked the sauce a bit longer to bring out the natural pectin in the berries. Amazing how thick and jellied it gets, no pectin or gelatin needed; you just have to have the patience to let it come into its own.

And the booze, well, I figured it couldn’t hurt, and threw in a splash of Grand Marnier to half of the batch. Because orange and cranberry go so well together, and booze and the holidays also follow suit. Leave it out if you must, but it really puts the ing in Thanksgiving. Or something like that.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier

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2 12-ounce bags fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen, about 7 cups
2 3/4 cups water or juice (I used pomegranate-cranberry juice)
3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)


Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 7 or 8 half-pint mason jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use.

Rinse cranberries and discard any unripe or bruised berries. Place berries and juice in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until skins burst and berries soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer cranberry mixture to a food mill, blender, or a food processor and puree until smooth. If using a food mill, discard solids.

Return puree to saucepan. Add sugar and bring to a boil over medium-heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil hard for 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken. You can test the gel of the sauce by placing a spoonfull on a chilled plate. Return to the freezer for 1 to 2 minutes, then check for doneness. If you want a firmer gel, cook for a few minutes longer. For a looser sauce, do not cook it quite as long. When sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat and skim off foam. Stir in Grand Marnier (if using).

Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks. This sauce can also be made and enjoyed fresh, without canning. Simply transfer to serving dish, cover, and chill until ready to use.

Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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Printable Cranberry Sauce LabelsSpecial holiday freebie just for you! Pretty cranberry jelly labels, both plain and Grand Marnier variations. Can your creation and enjoy it all year-round (or give it away – homemade cranberry sauce makes a fabulous gift).

To use: View and download the label PDF by clicking the thumbnail to the right. Print out the labels onto full-sheet sticker paper. Cut out and adhere to your jar lids. They are perfectly sized for standard narrow-mouth canning jars. Need label paper? Try here or here.

Disclaimer: Copyright Love & Olive Oil. For personal use only. If you post about or share these labels, please credit appropriately and do not link directly to the downloadable file but rather to this post. Please do not distribute these downloadable files. Thank you much!