TJ’s Fresh Cranberries


To me the greatest sin one can commit on Thanksgiving is the sin of opening a can of cranberry sauce. There is simply no comparison to making your own cranberry sauce. Which is the EASIEST thing in the world to do, and if you do, trust me, everyone will say something about how great the the cranberry sauce is (because they’re used to the canned crap).

Trader Joe’s had fresh cranberries today so I bought some. They were very fresh looking. A 12 oz. bag cost $1.99, a fairly decent price this year. If you’ve never made “fresh” before here’s all you need to do (and the bag has the recipe too). I put them in a pot, add one cup water and one cup of sugar. Boil until the cranberries all “pop”. This is usually about 15-20 minutes. DONE. Let it cool: it will thicken up as it cools, as cranberry skin contains a great deal of natural pectin. 
Variation: Add orange juice instead of water. This year I added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper and a pinch of fennel seeds, and some lime juice.

If you’ve never made your own cranberry sauce and are used to the canned kind, you owe it to yourself to make it fresh this year. You will be shocked both at how easy it is to make and how infinitely better it is than the canned stuff!

Try it and let me know what you think.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CDivine
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 15:37:38

    I agree! It is truly easy and truly delicious! Throughout my NYC childhood and into my early twenties I thought I didn’t like cranberries – period. That was only because I too was reared on the red, gelatinous blob that is canned cranberries. Then a few years ago thanks to moving to Los Angeles and discovering the awesomeness of Trader Joe’s that I decided to brave the fresh cooking route. I am now a cranberry devotee. I squeeze fresh organic oranges and add that juice – using 1/3 water – 2/3 oj – I also add a pinch of Trader Joe’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to taste. This year I added the pink himi salt and the TJ South African smoked salt, a touch of Raw Organic blue Agave and a fresh grated TJ Cinnamon stick. That kick of smokey salt wakes up the sweetness – and just before serving I mix in a bit more fresh squeezed oj and/or lemon. It’s sublime.


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