Homemade Cranberry Sauce made with fresh cranberries – spiked with Kentucky Bourbon! An old fashioned recipe gets an upgrade from the canned stuff. You can make this in the oven and have it on your table in 30 minutes. (easy and flexible recipe!)
Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite side dishes. Yes, it’s a side. To call it a condiment at my table is blasphemy! I LOVE cranberry sauce. It’s tart, tangy and adds some pucker to its savory companions.
What I love about this recipe
- It can be made ahead of time – up to one week! Simply store it in the fridge, and you’ve got one less thing to worry about when it’s crunch time.
- You can stretch it. The recipe calls for fresh cranberries, but you can add in a few cans of jellied or whole berries if you’ve got a few extra guests.
- It’s got Bourbon. Need I say more? Bourbon adds a nice little zing at the end, and it completely kid-friendly as the alcohol cooks off.
- It’s hard to mess up. The cooking time and ingredient ratios are suuuuper flexible. Even the flightiest Aunt Marge can’t ruin this one!
- It’s a one-pot side dish! Dump everything in a casserole dish, bake, stir, serve. Done!
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How do you make cranberry sauce from scratch?
This recipe makes about 2 cups. You can easily serve about 8-10 people with this recipe.
Tip: If you begin to run low on the homemade sauce while serving, add a can of canned cranberry sauce to supplement – jellied or whole.
- Simply mix the fresh cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in a greased 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven, and stir in bourbon. Cover back up with foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a pretty bowl and serve.
Can you overcook cranberry sauce?
As I mentioned before, this recipe is flexible! This recipe will not be affected by other dishes in the oven, higher oven temperature, or shorter or longer cook times. This recipe is a trooper!
So if you have other dishes circulating in and out of the oven during the holidays, this recipe will be just fine.
After about 20 minutes, the cranberries will begin to burst and the sugar will dissolve. If you choose to continue cooking longer, keep an eye out for any over-caramelization of the brown sugar and berries.
A good quality Bourbon is required! You don’t need much of it, but it does add some flavor, so quality is key. Woodford Reserve is an excellent choice.
How long does fresh cranberry sauce last?
This dish can easily be served chilled or at room temperature. If you need to make this ahead of time, place the cooled casserole dish in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
This recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance for optimal flavor and freshness.
Reheat at 375F degrees for about 10 minutes or until warm, or allow to rest on the counter to reach room temperature.
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Fresh Cranberry Sauce (SPIKED!)
- 1 pound fresh cranberries (or 1 bag)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 tsp teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cup good-quality bourbon (we use Woodford Reserve)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Cover with foil, and bake until cranberries are bursting and sugar is dissolved, stirring once, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and stir in bourbon. Cover tightly with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to bowl, and serve.