Cranberry Sauce, Jelly, Or Relish

Aya Brackett

The Thanksgiving accompaniment is often overwhelmingly sweet, but the sugar is what helps the cranberries gel and hold together. You can decrease the sugar; just know that the end result will be runnier.

Makes: About 1 quart
Time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill


  • 4 cups fresh cranberries (about 1 pound), picked over and rinsed, or frozen cranberries

  • 1 1 ⁄ 2 cups sugar


1. Combine the cranberries and sugar with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are broken, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Transfer to a bowl. Cool, then chill until you’re ready to serve. The sauce can be refrigerated, covered, for up to a week.

Firm Cranberry Sauce Or Cranberry Jelly

Increase the sugar to 2 cups. For sauce, proceed as directed. For jelly, cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Pass through a strainer into a mold, bowl, or jelly jars. Cool, then chill until firm. Spoon out, or warm the container in hot water to turn the jelly out on a plate and then slice to serve.

Cranberry Relish

This isn’t cooked, but it’s handy to have all the cranberry options in one place: Reduce the sugar to 1 ⁄ 2 cup; zest 1 orange, then remove the pith (including the white parts between segments) and roughly chop or supreme the flesh. Combine the sugar, cranberries, orange pieces and zest in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised 20th Anniversary Edition (Photo: Aya Brackett)