Hundred-year-old Cranberry Sauce Recipe

bowl of cranberry sauceIt just isn’t Thanksgiving without Cranberry Sauce. Some years I make the whole berry sauce recipe printed on the bags of fresh cranberries; other years I grit my teeth and buy a can of jellied canned sauce.ย  But, I have vague food memories a wonderful smooth homemade Cranberry Sauce that was served at Thanksgiving gatherings when I was a small child.

So, I was thrilled to find a classic smooth Cranberry Sauce recipe in a hundred-year-old magazine. The Cranberry Sauce contained tiny bits of cranberries, and was a delightful blend of sweet and sour.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Classic Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

4 cups cranberries

1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (scant 1/2 cup) water

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sugar

Wash cranberries, then place cranberries and water put in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium high heat. Stir in the baking soda, then reduce heat and simmer until the berries have softened and burst (5-7 minutes). Skim any froth that rises to the top while cooking. Remove from heat, and press through a sieve. (I used a Foley mill.) Place the pulp in a clean pan and stir in the sugar. (The berry skins should be discarded.) Cook until the mixture begins to boil while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and put the cranberry sauce in the serving dish. Cool in refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving. Once the sauce is cooled, it should be covered to prevent a thick “skin” from forming on the top.

(Cook’s note: Today many cranberries are sold in 12 ounce bags – which is 3 cups of cranberries. If using one 12-ounce bag of cranberries, make three- fourths of this recipe. This would mean using a little less than 1/3 cup water, 3/8 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 1/2 cups sugar.)

51 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. We always had the jellied sauce when I was a kid, but in past years, I’ve come to prefer this gem of a recipe. It will last in the fridge a good while.

    Finely grind one bag raw cranberries and one whole navel orange. Add as many chopped, toasted pecans as you like (I use about one cup). Stir in 1/3 cup honey.

    You’re done! It’s not only a great relish, you can stir some into muffins, etc.

    1. According The Spruce Eats, “There is no getting around itโ€”cranberries are tart. One way cooks counteract this is to add sugar to the recipes . . . If you’d rather not increase the sugar content, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda when cooking cranberries to help neutralize the acid.”

  2. ๐Ÿ˜‹ oh how I wish I could spoon some of that sauce out of the photo! Going to have to try this! Ps.. I still do the prune and cranberries recipe you posted some time back.

    1. Wow, thanks for reminding me of that recipe. It was a really good one, but I haven’t made it recently. I posted that recipe back in 2015. I may have to make it again this year. It’s been wonderful to get to know you over the years via our blogs.

      Hereโ€™s the link in case other readers want to check the recipe out: Cranberries with Prunes

        1. Those were good years. I really enjoyed sharing my grandmother’s diary, and the comments you and other readers made really helped me better understand my grandmother and her times. And, I got to meet wonderful people like you.

    1. Foley Mills are so useful. My Foley mill is also 40 or 50 years old. For some reason my mother had two Foley mills. Shortly after I got married she gave me one of them. I think that there recently has been renewed interest in Foley Mills. I recently saw them featured in a display at a Williams Somona store.

  3. I always hated cranberry sauce, because the only kind I had ever tried was the canned stuff. Once I discovered the real thing, I changed my mind. And this recipe looks delicious!

    1. I agree with you. There is no comparison between homemade cranberry sauce and the canned stuff. I’m a bit befuddled how the canned sauce ever because such a popular part of many family Thanksgiving traditions. (I need to fess up that I served canned Cranberry Sauce for many years. Not sure any more why I did that. There are numerous cranberry sauce recipes out there that are very easy to make.)

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