This Honey Maple Cranberry Sauce is sweet, tart, and perfect for serving with turkey on Thanksgiving!
Let’s take a moment to talk about cranberry condiments. They are a Thanksgiving staple and are one of the easiest things to make rather than buy.
I’ve made a number of different versions to serve with turkey over the years. There was my “canned” cranberry sauce in which I molded a homemade version in a tin can in order to achieve the classic ridges. Before that, I shared a simple cranberry jelly made with just a pound of berries for easy DIY-ing.
I’ve also made a bunch of cranberry-centric jams that go well with the traditional Thursday meal. Spiced Cranberry Jam. Pear Cranberry Jam. Low-sugar Pear Cranberry Jam. Apple Cranberry Jam. Apple Cranberry Compote. Any one of these would be a natural addition to your menu. (And if you need more inspiration, each one of my books contains at least one Thanksgiving-appropriate cranberry preserve.)
Despite the fact that I’ve got so many variations at my disposal, I couldn’t resist making this Honey Maple Cranberry Sauce. Initially, I was going to mold this naturally sweetened version in tin can like I did all those years back. But honestly, it felt like too much trouble and do we really need another gimmick these days?
I find that cranberry skins are often tough, so I typically work my finished cranberry sauce through a food mill when it’s finished cooking. That results in a sauce that it more uniform in texture and is an easier sell to the people who have only just graduated from the overly sweet canned cranberry jelly. It’s an entirely optional step, though.
The finished cranberry sauce is flavored lightly with lemon zest and a cinnamon stick and is sweetened with both honey and maple syrup. It’s appealingly tart and sweet, and I am looking forward to heaping a generous scoop onto my plate come Thursday.
Do you have a house cranberry sauce or relish? Share your tradition in the comments!
Honey-Maple Cranberry Sauce
- 3 pounds fresh cranberries
- 2 cups apple juice or cider
- 1 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 7 cups of product.
- Wash the cranberries and remove any that seem to be beyond the pale.
- In a large pot, combine the berries, apple juice, honey, maple syrup, and cinnamon stick.
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of the lemon zest and add them to the pot.
- Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium high and cook, stirring regularly, until all the cranberries have popped. This should take 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the sauce cool for a few minutes.
- For a sauce that's uniform in texture, fit a food mill with its' medium screen and position it over a heatproof bowl. Work the sauce through the mill until only dry skins and bits of lemon zest remain in the top.
- For a whole berry sauce, remove the cinnamon stick and the strips of lemon zest.
- Taste the sauce and add a bit of juice from your denuded lemon, should it need balance.
- Funnel the finished sauce into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortable handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.