Talking Food with Cory Bahr: Cranberry Sauce

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 4:09 PM CST
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The following is a transcription of Cory's video.

I'm Chef Cory Bahr and today we're talking cranberry sauce. With the holidays being right around the corner, in every one of our grocery stores locally, you're seeing these bags of cranberries, you know and it's that time of year. You know, one of my favorite things about holiday dinners, spreads, whatever it may be, Thanksgiving or just a given Sunday, is the cranberry sauce. We grew up with it. You know, everybody did that cranberry jelly. But as I got older I said there's got to be a better way. And fortunately there is and it only requires a couple of very simple ingredients. One of those 12-ounce bags of cranberries, you can find it any grocery store, 12 ounces of sugar, some fresh-squeezed orange juice, some zest off of those oranges, some fresh ginger and a star anise pod.

So let's just get right into it. We divide up our cranberries into two portions. About three quarters in one bowl and about a quarter in the other. Going to add the three quarters to our pot over here. We're just going to let that come up to a simmer with our orange juice.

We just want to bring that up to a boil. So what you want to happen and starting to happen here is these cranberries just to rupture and they start releasing their natural pectin, which will cause this to thicken. Now that it's boiling, we're going to add 12 ounces of granulated sugar. Just going to stir that in.

Bring it right back up to a boil. Now we're going to add our star-anise pods and then some ginger. We just give these a nice little dice.

Right into there. We're gonna let that come up.

We're gonna take our orange, our nice little peeler, best $4 you can spend on Amazon, return it to a boil till it starts to thicken slightly.

Takes about five minutes. If you could just smell this you have all this aroma of orange and cranberry and star anise. It really starts to smell like the holidays. You'll notice these bubbles starting to form over and you can see that they're thickening. That's because all that natural pectin is being released from the berries and we just want to continue to cook this down. We love to use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. So always add a little pinch of salt brightens everything up and see this, you see that they're all breaking down nicely.

Now's the time we're going to add in the remainder of our cranberries. We're just going to stir those in, return it to a boil and will be done. As this cools it will definitely begin to thicken.

It won't be that congealed consistency like the cranberry jelly and it can but it'll definitely have a thicker consistency and be more like a compost goes great with ham, turkey. You know you can even mix it with a little bit of mayonnaise and serve it on a turkey sandwich so it's really versatile. You can make it up to three weeks in advance and it only gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator. That beautiful.

There you have it. That's our fresh cranberry sauce with Star nice and orange. Hey, if you want to cook this recipe for yourself, go to and click on Talking Food.