It's not a proper Thanksgiving dinner without a few essential side dishes. Thanksgiving turkey, check. mashed potatoes, check. Canned cranberry sauce? Check, but does anyone actually enjoy eating the stuff? According to Instacart's Turkey Day Exposé, jellied cranberry sauce is one of the Thanksgiving recipes people could go without. In fact, "Nearly half of Americans (46%) say canned cranberry sauce is 'disgusting.'" according to the online survey conducted by The Harris Poll. Will the canned stuff make it to your Thanksgiving table this year?
What is Canned Cranberry Sauce?
It's no surprise that the most popular and (best cranberry sauce) is Ocean Spray. Created to extend the life of fresh cranberries, the jellied sauce was introduced to family dinner tables in 1941. Made with fresh cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and water, the canned sauce is cooked and added to the cans. Sometimes whole cranberries are folded in to make a whole berry cranberry sauce.
It's not the holiday season without a can of cranberry sauce on the table.
How Does Cranberry Sauce Hold its Shape?
Believe it or not, gelatin or any other thickening agent aren't needed to make the sauce hold its shape. As the whole berries cook, pectin (which is a natural thickener) is released from the berries. Most sauces strain out the pieces of the berries before canning, but if you are making a cranberry sauce recipe at home, you can leave the bits of cranberry in your homemade sauce to add a little bit more depth.
Whether you make your own cranberry sauce in the slow cooker or over the stove, there's no limit to the flavors you can add to your cranberry relish. Apple, brown sugar, orange juice, you name it!
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
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Canned stuff got you down? Make your own whole cranberry sauce by adding a bag of frozen or fresh cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons water, and orange zest to a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook until berries are soft and sugar dissolves. Then increase heat to high and cook until berries pop. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.