Cranberry Mystery

Last year, in an attempt to make jellied cranberry sauce, I discovered cranberry butter–or cranberry taffy, cranberry tar, cranberry glue, take your pick.

I loved my cranberry butter.

This year, I’ve picked a bunch of cranberries so I can make both. With the first batch, I aimed for jellied cranberry sauce and got it. Woot!

With the second batch, I aimed for cranberry butter and decided to try adding allspice and cinnamon. Now, last year, the butter was an accident. I don’t know exactly why or how I got the gloppy stuff I did; to the best of my knowledge, all I did was triple the recipe. For the second batch this year, I didn’t triple the recipe, but rather tried a shorter boiling period, reducing the liquid less.

It didn’t work. I had two batches of jellied cranberry sauce, one spiced. I haven’t decided if I prefer it with or without the spices.

So I tried a third batch.

Since I liked the butter so much, I thought maybe I had inadvertently added too much sugar. I like sweet. Maybe I mis-counted the number of cups I added. So I tried adding extra sugar this time around, and I stirred pretty much constantly.

I now have three batches of jellied cranberry sauce: one regular, one spiced, one extra-sweet.


I’ve searched for cranberry butter recipes online, and what I get are recipes that combine cranberries with butter-butter, the dairy kind. I have recipes for apple butter; I have recipes for jellied cranberry sauce; I have a recipe for cranberry ketchup. They’re all pretty much the same. I can’t figure out what alters the texture, what makes the liquid set up and what makes it gooey.

I’m not giving up. I’ll keep experimenting until I run out of cranberries. If any of you kitchen or cranberry gurus have ideas or advice, I’m listening.

Categories: Alaska

2 replies »

  1. Jen – found this online. I haven’t tested it.
    40 ServingsPrep: 5 min. Cook: 30 min. + chillingIngredients
    10 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    2/3 cup apple juice
    1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup maple syrup
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cranberries, apple juice and sugar to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until all berries have popped, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Process in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.
    Return cranberry mixture to the saucepan; add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 5 cups.