Florida Christmas Cranberries
This year we decided to can our own Cranberry Sauce
Our Homemade Florida Christmas Cranberries Sauce
Trust me, this tastes much better than the store bought canned sauce.
We wanted to make our own, as opposed to buying it, as we have most years in the past.
This was so very exciting, canning cranberries not only for ourselves but to give as gifts for Christmas.
We have our Florida Christmas Cranberries by the door, all dressed up and ready to give as gifts.
I had this beautiful Asian dress that I found at a thrift store which didn’t fit, so I thought I would cut it up to make the lovely fabric to use to put around the jar lids to give as gifts, along with some nice ribbons.
You can even see the zipper and the snaps from the dress I cut up and wrapped around the jar lids.
I like keeping gifts by the door to give to those that drop by.
Merry Christmas Cranberries!
Now for the Making of it:
Here are the ingredients for making a single pot of Cranberry Sauce
6 Cups Water
3 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Honey
1 tsp Ground Cardamon
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 can Orange Juice Concentrate
1 tsp Ground Cloves
6 Packages of 12 oz. Ocean Spray Cranberries – rinsed
Zest of 1 Key Lime
Juice of 2 Key Limes
Juice of 3 Clementines
Zest of 1 Orange (We used Florida Naval Oranges)
Juice of 2 Oranges (We used Florida Naval Oranges)
1/4 of a Nutmeg Seed, Grated
In addition to the cranberries, we also wanted to add some of the juice and zest from our key lime’s on our tree.
Key Limes are Packed with Juice, they May be Small but they are mighty!
Our Key Lime Tree
Gordon Getting Water out of our Fridge
We used two large pots for this recipe, as we doubled it.
Place your water in the pots, then the sugar.
Turn your heat up to high, then add your Cardamon, Cinnamon…
Honey, and Powdered Ginger…
Then add the Orange Juice Concentrate.
I used the orange juice concentrate, because I wanted and intense orange flavor.
Later, I also used freshly squeezed juice, and the zest to impart more depth of flavor to the sauce.
Now add the ground cloves.
Be sure to rinse your cranberries and give them a good looking over for any that may have spoiled.
Of the twelve bags we used, I may have found 4 berries that weren’t good.
Rinsing the Cranberries
With your liquid now boiling, place in your cranberries.
Now, I added the zest and juice of the Key Limes.
Be sure to zest them before you juice them!
Now I added the zest and juice of the oranges and clementines.
I used freshly grated nutmeg, because the flavor is more intense.
You can buy whole nutmeg for this. Just grate over pot.
Boil all the ingredients for about 10 min. stirring occasionally.
If you boil them much more, your berries natural pectin will break down, and the sauce will not thicken.
Be sure to taste your sauce to ensure the flavor is what you like.
Don’t be alarmed, as the mixture cooks, the berries will pop.
The Canning Process
We bought the jars and lids for this project.
You don’t want large jars, buy something medium to small.
You can sterilize the jars in the dishwasher, just don’t touch the insides of them.
The jar lids we boiled in water ,on the stove top, in a pot, to sterilize them.
Heat your lids just under a boil, much more and you will melt/ruin the rubber seal.
Start your water boiling in large pots for the canning process.
You now want to use a funnel to spoon the mixture into each sterilized jar.
So using a funnel, place your warm sauce into your jars 1/2 inch from the top. This is called head space.
Wipe down the jar’s top with a clean wet napkin, removing any sauce which might get in the way of the seal.
Place a sterilized lid on top of the jar using a lid lifting tool. You do not want to touch the jar lid seals.
When you have the seals on top of the jars, screw the bands on the jars, but not too tight.
Place your jars into the boiling water ensuring they are submerged.
Boil them for 15 min.
Using your jar lifting tongs remove the jars from the water and place them on a surface that can handle the extreme heat.
I used a large wooden cutting board.
As they cool, you will hear the lids pop. This is the vacuum which is pulling your lid down on your jar.
This must happen on every jar.
If it doesn’t, you have to process the jar and contents all over again or you can place it in your refrigerator and eat it within a week.
Our Christmas Dinner
Cranberry sauce is probably the most important accent for any special occasion. Whether it be Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or maybe even Easter. It adds that special tang that makes every bite we take taste just a little bit better.
Below are Photos of my Christmas Dinner Plate
Cranberry Sauce in the Middle, Christmas Day
This was our Christmas Dinner where our Cranberry Sauce was Featured
Tur-Duc-En, Cornbread Dressing, Egg Noodles, Gravy, Cheesy Peas and Pearl Onions,
It was Perfect!
Cranberry Sauce Eaten as a Mustard/Jelly on our Christmas Tur-Duc-En Club Sandwiches
Our After Christmas Leftover Tur-Duc-En/Bacon Sandwiches
So delicious! Cranberry sauce makes a great condiment here.
We hope that you enjoyed!
Julie and Gordon