My mother always made the cranberry sauce for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. She used a cranberry sauce recipe that called for gelatin, and she would pour the sauce into a pretty, brass-colored Bundt pan to set before serving. One year, the cranberry sauce did not set up like it was supposed to, and it resembled more of a cranberry soup than the molded, cranberry sauce ring we had grown accustomed to.
As we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner the next year, my dad and I pulled out drinking straws as the cranberry sauce was served. We figured we would need them if the sauce was anything like the previous year’s dish. I don’t recall if anyone else was in on that prank, but I do recall we did not need to use our straws. It was just the one dish from the previous year that ever went wrong, and I don’t know that mom ever identified just what happened.
Learning from the fact we won’t let Mom live down her lone failed cranberry sauce, I never try to make mine with gelatin. I always make mine truly saucy, and my favorite recipe is a spicy one that flavors the sauce with jalapenos, oranges, and limes. I think I like making the sauce to see the bright red, green, and orange colors meld together as much as I do eating the sauce itself.
Since cranberries tend to appear in my life every November near Thanksgiving and then fade away until the next year, I was excited to read about a sugared cranberries recipe at Pink Parsley. After trying the recipe myself, I can safely say sugared cranberries are one of my favorite new snacks. I like the crunch of the sweet sugar before the tart berry bursts, and just a few sugared cranberries satiate my sweet tooth.
The only negative was my sugared cranberries did not keep as nicely as I had hoped. I placed them in a candy bowl, and after a day or two noticed a coating of syrup in the bottom of the dish. Based on this experience, I would suggest storing the sugared cranberries in an even layer.
I was skeptical about the cranberry syrup, but I found adding a few tablespoons to a glass of club soda resulted in a refreshing drink that reminded me of one of my long-ago favorites, Clearly Canadian. If you still are not sold on the taste, then make sugared cranberries simply because they are so pretty! Enjoy.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- Combine the sugar and the water in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the cranberries.
- Transfer the syrup and the berries to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
- After the cranberries have soaked, removed from the refrigerator and drain the syrup. (Store the syrup for separate use.)
- Place the cranberries in bowl with the superfine sugar and toss or stir to coat completely.
- Set the sugared cranberries on a baking sheet to dry, at least one hour, before serving.