Handcrafted and Canned Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a simple thing to make, so simple it is sadness to buy it in a can. And the worst part about canned cranberry sauce is the one dominant brand in the US is a horrid product. It is syrupy sweet, for a reason, it is heavy on the corn syrup: Cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, water, corn syrup. Keep it simple, and canning a batch for the year only takes an extra 30 minutes to an hour over just making the sauce. Do it now, and come all the holidays, no extra cooking! And on a side note, this is the time of year when finding fresh cranberries is at its prime. Do yourself a favor, look for local brands, if they grow regionally, and not just a certain brand. The berries are often fresher and tastier!


I adapted this recipe from We Sure Can!: How Jams and Pickles Are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food, on page 180. I doubled the recipe in the book, since it didn’t take any longer. If I am going to can, I make sure I have enough in the pantry for the year 😉


Easy-Peasy Cranberry Sauce


  • 2 pounds fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 4″ cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cups granulated sugar


Fill a canning pot halfway with water, add in canning jars, bring to a boil covered.

In a stockpot (stainless steel or non-stick) add the cranberries, water and cinnamon sticks. Bring the berries to boiling over hight heat, periodically mashing the cranberries with a potato masher to help break up.

Once boiling, stir in sugar (be careful as this is hot). Bring back to a full rolling boil, that you cannot stir down, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce starts to set (it will be thickened if you spoon up). Stir constantly as it cooks.

Take off the heat, remove and discard the cinnamon sticks.

Drain the jars, place on a clean kitchen towel.

Sterilize a canning funnel and a ladle, stir the sauce again and ladle hot sauce into the jars, leaving a ¼” headspace. Wipe the jar rims with a new paper towel, dampened with hot water.

Place a new canning lid on each jar, screw on bands until finger tip tight.

Place jars into canning rack, lower into the water, place cover on. Bring back to a boil, process for 10 minutes for small jars, 15 if doing pint jars, starting timing once water boils. Turn off heat, take off lid, and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove jars, place on a cooling rack covered with a kitchen towel. Let cool, listening for the pings of the lids. Once cool, check the lids by pressing gently in the middle. If any spring back, put in refrigerator and use within a week.

Made about 10 6-ounce jars, for 60 ounces total. Store in a cool, dry area for up to a year.