Cranberry sauce is a jam like relish made by cooking cranberries with sugar. It is probably one of the most popular accompaniment served with Turkey at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Cranberries are small round, seedless berries that grow in shrubs. If you ask me, they are fairly deceiving in their appearance. The first time I tasted raw cranberries, I expected them to taste berry like- sweet, juicy, did I say sweet? But, they ended up being a juicy but tart, seeds-like texture. I don’t think I ever tasted them raw again.
Making cranberry sauce was the obvious next step for me. And boy, did that change my mind about cranberries! I love the hint of tartness in the jam-like cranberry sauce. In my house, I am the only one who likes cranberry sauce with turkey. My husband and kids aren’t fans of sweet with poultry. But, they love to pair it with creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese, over a cracker or toast. Now I make this year round and it’s a staple on my cheese boards.
I have been making cranberry sauce using this recipe for over a decade now. The only change I made to it, was adding ‘Agave syrup’ to it during the cooking process. There is a subtle earthiness that Agave syrup adds to the sauce, which contrasts perfectly with this vibrant berry. That being said, it is optional. You can totally add the traditional orange juice or water and it will still taste yum. You can also add some orange rind, which is another popular combination. Me, I prefer the traditional cranberry flavors.
I pressure cook the cranberries, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot Mini 3 Qt (see my Instant Pot FAQ to learn more). First cook with agave syrup for 1 minute, wait for 7 minutes and release the pressure. Open the lid, add sugar and sauté for 2-3 minutes till it reaches a jam-like consistency. At this stage, the cranberries have all broken down, but are not mush, which is what makes the texture so great.
Stove Top Recipe
This cranberry sauce can be on the stove-top too. Simply combine all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium high heat with 1/2 cup water. Cover till everything comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, till the berries are cooked. Remove lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes till the sauce reaches a jam like consistency.
This recipe is so easy and so delicious, I promise you, you won’t buy another can of cranberry sauce again! It stays good in the refrigerator for a few weeks, so definitely a make-ahead recipe for thanksgiving or big parties.
Cranberry Sauce in Instant PotPrint Recipe
- 12 oz. pack fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup agave syrup ( or honey or orange juice)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 pinch salt
- Zest of 1 medium orange (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
Turn On Instant Pot. Pout water followed by agave syrup. Pouring water will prevent the syrup from sticking to the bottom and burning.
Add cranberries and salt. Stir and close lid. Press Manual for 1 minute on Sealing mode. Let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 7 minutes. Turn the value to Venting position and release all pressure. Open lid.
Turn on Saute mode. Add sugar and stir. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the cranberry sauce reaches warm jam like consistency. Cool for 10 minutes and pour in jars.
For making this in a stove-top pressure cooker like Prestige or Hawkins- follow all steps and cook on medium high heat for 2 whistles. Turn off heat and let it cool for 7 minutes, after which, release the pressure by7 carefully lifting the weight. Follow the remaining steps in the instructions.