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In my humble opinion, the Thanksgiving and Christmas table isn’t complete without cranberry sauce. The cranberry is a native American fruit, introduced to the starving pilgrims by their native-American friends and incorporated into their first Thanksgiving feasts.

They are so beautiful!

I haven’t opened a can of commercial sauce in 18 years-and you don’t have to anymore either. It’s so insanely easy to make your own sauce. You only need three ingredients and 15 minutes! Have you ever noticed that the first ingredient in commercial sauces is usually grape or pear or apple juice? In my opinion, that dilutes the unique taste. With this sauce, you get the wonderful flavor and gorgeous color, without the unnecessary addition of juice.

I learned how to make this recipe from watching a segment from Consumer Reports when I was first married. It mirrors a recipe I found in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook, published in 1896.

This recipe makes about as much as you’d find in a can-so if you’re having a large crowd, I suggest you double or triple it-and allow extra time in the refrigerator for it to set up. I usually make mine the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

• 1 bag cranberries
• 1 cup sugar
• water


Dump the berries into a medium saucepan and add water until it just comes up even with the berries.

The berries and just enough water to boil them.

Bring to a boil, allow the skins to pop, and simmer on medium to medium-high for 3-4 minutes.
Drain the water. Place a strainer inside a bigger bowl and dump the boiled cranberries into the strainer. Push them through with a wooden paddle or spoon, mushing them until only the stringy skins are left.

The skins after all the pulp has been pushed through the strainer.

Discard the skins and scrap the pulp from the bottom of the strainer, where it will likely stick.

This is a shot of the pulp after it’s been separated from the skins.

Pour the pulp back into the saucepan and add a cup of sugar. Mix well.

The sugar helps it to form a gelatin.

Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Place in small glass dish and put into the refrigerator, placing a lid over the sauce after its been in the frig for about an hour.

Ready to be refrigerated!

Allow to set completely and serve!

It’s such a beautiful addition to the meal!