Crisp, refreshing, tangy—all words that describe the seasonal delight that is cranberry sauce. A few years ago, I decided that I liked it too much to have it only during the holidays and started making it a regular side to our meals year round. Eating the jewel-toned sauce in every season is especially easy when a batch of homemade cranberry sauce lasts the whole year when stored in the freezer. And thanks to the high quantities of pectin that occur naturally in the fruit, the sauce jells automatically on its own.
This time, when I whipped up my usual pot of cranberry goodness, I decided that I wanted a sparkling glass of the ruby juice too. To make the juice, I used the sauce to infuse filtered water with a rich cranberry flavor. Interestingly, the pectin from the berries gives the juice a velvety mouth feel once it sets up in the refrigerator over night.
2 pounds fresh cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
Additional water for juice
Directions for Cranberry Sauce:
1. To make sauce, combine the cranberries, sugar, and 2 cups of water in a large stockpot. Bring to a vigorous boil. Then reduce heat to low to maintain simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Set aside about 3 cups of the sauce to make juice. Store the remaining cranberry sauce in the refrigerator until it sets up like jelly. Then the sauce may be frozen for up to a year.
Directions for Cranberry Juice:
1. To make juice, you will need about 3 cups of warm cranberry sauce, a juice pitcher, a large spoon, a mesh sieve, a bowl slightly larger than the sieve, and about a quart of water. Place the sieve in the bowl and add 1 to 2 cups of the warm cranberry sauce to the sieve. Pour some of the water over the sieve and stir.
2. Once the cranberry sauce turns the water very read, lift the sieve out of the water to strain the juice. Pour the resulting juice from the bowl in the juice pitcher. Discard the cranberries that have been strained. Repeat this process until you have about a quart of juice. Store the juice in the refrigerator for up to a week.