Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Canning Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is delicious year-round.  However, cranberries are harder to find once the holiday season is over.  Right now, groceries are
eager to get rid of their extra stock.  That makes this the perfect time of the year to can our Dressed-up Cranberry Sauce.  By doubling our recipe, you will have enough sauce to last you the rest of the year and still have a few jars to give away.   Even if you have never canned before, this easy recipe is the perfect start.  It will leaving you wondering what to can next.  Just remember, before you begin the canning process, it is important to review the procedures and recipe.  Once the canning process begins, it goes quite fast so preparation is of the utmost importance. 

You will need:

10 wide mouth pint jars, washed
10 wide mouth lids, unused
10 wide mouth rings
one clean white towel
4 clean towels
jar lifter
measuring cup
teakettle with boiling water

ingredients to make a double recipe of Dressed-Up Cranberry Sauce

Step 1:  Place a white towel in the bottom of a large stew pot.  The pot should hold at least 5 jars or you will have to boil multiple batches.  Place clean canning jars on towel so that they are not touching but do not have much room to move once the pot begins boiling.  They selling pots specifically for canning that have a rim for holding the jars.  However, it is not necessary to have one of those to properly can cranberries.  Fill the pot with water so that the water is 1-2 inches about the jars.  Heat the water to 180 degrees.

Step2:  Place clean, unused canning lids in a pot of warm water.  Allow them to remain in that water until they are placed on the jars.  Just before canning, I like to heat this water to boiling for an extra precaution. 

Step 3:  Lay out your canning utensils.  Place clean lids, measuring cup, rubber spatula and jar lifter on a clean towel in the area that you have set aside for the canning procedure.  Place another clean towel next to that.  This is where you will place the hot jars for filling.  I like to set up my canning equipment near the stove where you cook the sauce and boil the jars.  See the picture for Step 5 for a view of my complete layout.

Step 4: While the jars are coming to temperature, make your Dressed-Up Cranberry Sauce.  Remember when cooking the sauce that it will cook more in the jars during processing so it is better to slightly undercook it when canning. 

Step 5:  Once the sauce is cooked and the jars have come to temperature, you may begin canning.  Using the jar lifters, remove the jars from the canning pot and place on the dry towel near your canning tools.  Fill each jar with sauce leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top of the jar.  Run the rubber spatula around the edges of the jar to ensure that there are no air bubbles.  Wipe any sauce from the rim of the jars.  Place the boiling lids on the jars.  Put a ring on each jar not tightening too much.

Step 6:  Put the jars backin the large pot of water.  Be careful not to tilt the jars.  Sauce on the lid or edges can cause spoilage or prevent a full seal.  Cover jars with 2 inches of water.  Cover pot.  Turn heat on high and bring jars to a rapid boil.  Heat may be lowered at this point but jars should remain at a continuous gently rolling boil for 20 minutes (15 minutes if below 1000 feet, 25 minutes if above 6000 feet).  Water must remain above the tops of the jars.  If the water level begins to fall, add boiling water and turn heat up to maintain the boil.

Step 7:  When the jars have finished processing, remove the pot's lid and leave the jars in the water for 5 minutes.  Then, using the jar lifter, remove the jars and place them on a clean towel or a cake rack.  DO NOT TOUCH AGAIN.  Do not tighten the lids or push the tops.  Leave the jars to rest at room temperature until they have cooled (approx. 12-24 hours).

Step 8:  Once the jars have cooled, remove the rings of the sealed jars.  Wash and label then store them in a cool, dry place out of direct light.  It is possible that some jars will not seal.  These jars should be placed in the refrigerator and used first. 

Your first time canning?  Still feeling a little unsure?  You can do this.  It really isn't as hard as our mom's made us think!  Here are some additional resources that might help ease your fears:   


  1. Way to go... But why do you remove the rings??? In step 8

  2. I remove the rings so that if, during storage, the jar loses its seal, it will be easier to detect.