Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Great Cranberry Marathon...

has come to an end.  Started out with 50 lbs. of cranberries and ended up with 84 quarts of juice.  Number one son will pick up his share the next time he is in town.  I'm still trying to find space to store mine.  I have tried other recipes before with less than spectacular results, but this one makes a delicious drink.  I don't know where I found the recipe, so if it is yours, let me know and I will give credit where credit is due.

Cranberry Juice

4 quarts (4 pounds) cranberries
3 to 3-1/2 cups granulated sugar  (I used 2-1/2 cups sugar)

Bring cranberries and 4 quarts water to a simmer in a large pot. DO NOT BOIL. Simmer 5 minutes, or until most berries burst.
Pour berries and juice into damp jelly bag or a colander lined with four layers of clean cheesecloth. Let juice drip into a large bowl. DO NOT squeeze the bag.
When you have extracted as much juice as possible from the pulp, return pulp to pot with 2 quarts water. Simmer 2 minutes.
Pour this pulp and juice through jelly bag again to extract remaining juice.
Place the 2 batches of juice in a large pot.
Add sugar to suit your taste and 1 more quart water. Heat to dissolve sugar completely, but do not boil.
Quickly pour into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.
Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yields 6 to 7 quarts.
Note:  I did not use cheesecloth as that is really time consuming and I had so many berries to process.  I used a strainer, which leaves a bit of pulp, but that doesn't bother me in the least.  The juice is for family consumption, not for entering at the fair.  It doesn't have to be perfectly clear to taste wonderful.

I hate to see anything go to waste, so I am dehydrating the leftover cranberry pulp.  When dried, it can be ground into small bits and added as flavoring for muffins, quick breads or cookies.  I dehydrate the peels when I am canning apples, and when mixed with the cranberry bits and a little sweetener, they make a really lovely tea.

I think I have just enough jars left to can up the butternut squash that Son brought me from the Farmer's Market.  And then I will give it a rest for a while.  Unless, of course, I find another really good sale...


  1. The juice is perfect. Duane

  2. Thanks. I like it, too. I can see I will probably have to ration it to have enough until next season!