A reader recipe! What first attracted me to this recipe: the convenience of the slow cooker. What keeps me coming back: it fills the house with a sweet aroma of cranberries, fresh ginger and orange zest!
Great update! And now I've tried making this already-wonderful recipe with maple syrup, a natural sweetener. It works beautifully!
Last fall, reader Karen Grosvenor responded to my complaints about slow cookers (see Easy Chicken or Turkey Tortilla Soup), suggesting her favorite slow cooker cookbook, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. She even gave a head start by recommending the Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal (excellent!), Ratatouille, Applesauce, the Salsa Chicken (excellent!) and Easy Cheesy Ravioli Casserole, which she says, believe it or not, is better in the slow cooker than the oven.
Karen also sent along this easy way to make cranberry sauce in the slow cooker, explaining, “My mother and I found this recipe for Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce in Parade Magazine years ago. Even those who don't like cranberry sauce like it, including children, my mother-in-law and (formerly) me."
She went on,"In theory, cranberry sauce is easy, but it always seems to take longer than I think and requires lots of stirring and asking, ‘Is it done yet?’ Now I just throw it in my slow cooker and let it go while I prepare my other Thanksgiving dishes.”
Thanks, Karen, your recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe is a winner!
PICK THE RIGHT SLOW COOKER The size of your slow cooker matters here. I use my favorite small red slow cooker, the one that's so perfect small batches, especially for one or two. But I have the idea if you were to make this in a larger slow cooker, it could well burn quickly because of more surface area for the same volume. To counteract this, just double the recipe.
PLAYING WITH SWEETENERS I tried this recipe with Stevia and was unimpressed: the taste was “chemical-y” and it didn’t thicken, bummer. I've also made it with a single cup of sugar, the taste is great great but the sauce doesn't thicken as well.
The real excitement? Call me "delighted" that this recipe adapted so easily to maple syrup! On the first try, I used a half cup of maple syrup instead of white sugar. I really love the maple-y touch, it really works with orange and ginger. This is my new first-choice sweetener for Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce.
HOMEMADE WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE for the SLOW COOKER
Time to table: 3 hours
Makes 2-1/2 cups (made with sugar) or
2 cups (made with maple syrup),
fits a small slow cooker, double the recipe for a larger slow cooker
- 12 ounces (340g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1-1/2 cups (300g) sugar or 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 2 oranges)
- 3/4 cup (200g) fresh orange juice (from about 2 large or 4 small oranges)
Finger through the cranberries under running water, seeking out soft or shriveled or unripe berries to discard.
Combine cranberries and remaining ingredients in a smaller slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 – 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Avoid longer, the cranberries lose their beautiful color. After cooking, the mixture will “appear” to be quite liquid but will thicken slightly once it's chilled.)
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps several days, even a couple of weeks, it's great to have on hand during the holidays for odds 'n' end uses both savory and sweet.
Made with Sugar (makes 2.5 cups) Per Two/Four Tablespoons: 31/63 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 8/16g Carb; 1/2g Fiber; 6/13g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points .5/1, PointsPlus 1/2.
Made with Maple Syrup (makes 2 cups) Per Two/Four Tablespoons: 41/83 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 1/2mg Sodium; 11/21g Carb; 1/2g Fiber; 8/16g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1/1, PointsPlus 1/2.
ALANNA’s TIPS If you like, cook the cranberry sauce a day (or several days) ahead. But then again, it really makes the kitchen smell good so consider putting it in the slow cooker early Thanksgiving morning. I love how this cranberry sauce leaves the cranberries soft and juicy but still, mostly whole. Use a lemon zester for the orange zest and a large-holed rasp for the fresh ginger. The orange and ginger flavors stay in the background but somehow they make the cranberries taste more like cranberries! I make this a couple of times each year, it's just nice to have on hand! I also use it to make Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Orange Spread, a great holiday appetizer. The food blog Farm Fresh Feasts added beets and fresh ginger to make a Cranberry, Orange & Beet Salad. Creative!
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012
Light & Fluffy Homemade Whole-Grain Bread & Buns Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins Squash Puff Turnip Puff Perfect Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes (Party Potatoes) Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Pumpkin Bread Pudding Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Pumpkin Pecan Pie Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie
Last Week, Elsewhere
Bread Pudding from Sunset 44 Bistro
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Pioneer Woman's Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture
More Ideas for the "Cranberry Course"
Shop Your Pantry First
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2013, 2014 & 2015