Cranberry Sauce Disas... Mishap
November 23, 2011 10:43 PM   Subscribe

I think my cranberry sauce is too sweet... Help!

Made the cranberry sauce tonight using the America's Test Kitchen recipe: 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, pinch of salt, 12oz cranberries. Simmered and stirred for about 10-15 minutes, added 2 tbs orange juice and some orange zest.

It's ok, but it's much sweeter than usual. I really like it more tart than sweet.

Can this be fixed? I thought about throwing in another half a bag of cranberries and cooking some more, or chopping up a Granny Smith apple and adding that in. Maybe add some nutmeg. I don't know how well these ideas will work.

An other suggestions? (No, I'm not going to the market to get a can of Jello style sauce.)
posted by Marky to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Lemon juice.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:45 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

More cranberries should do it; they're plenty tart, maybe with a little more zest as well for balance. If you're worried about the texture getting too mushy (if you're a whole berry fanatic) you should be able to do the half bag of cranberries and zest with say 1/3 cup of water separately and then combine. But you should be fine cooking it some more; if it gets too thick, just add water.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:48 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

More cranberries will fix it easily, they are super tart and it's just a ratio thing. Don't mess with other ingredients unless you want to anyway.

I make mine with one bag or cranberries (too lazy to go see how much that is), 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 cup orange juice, orange zest and a big splash of Cognac or Bourbon, then I taste it while it's hot enough to dissolve more sugar and add more if it needs it.
posted by crabintheocean at 10:54 PM on November 23, 2011

Yeah, i'd cook the rest of the cranberries seperately and add them to your original sauce until it tastes right. If the sauce is then too loose, use some arrowroot or cornstarch to thicken it back up.
posted by guster4lovers at 11:48 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Citric and tartaric acids are the traditional ingredients used to add a pure acid bite to cordials. I'd expect them to work equally well in a sweet fruit sauce.
posted by flabdablet at 12:39 AM on November 24, 2011

Just make more of it without the sugar.

In the past, I've used this recipe for orange/ginger cranberry sauce, adding nutmeg. You could make that without the sugar. But I agree with crabintheocean: only do this if you actually want the extra flavors.

For the future: add sugar sparingly and taste as you go go. It's easier to correct "not sweet enough" than "too sweet."
posted by John Cohen at 6:17 AM on November 24, 2011

Best answer: Everyone has given good advice about adding or cooking and more cranberries (and a bit of lemon juice is probably good). Add a bit and mix it in and taste till you get the sweetness you want.

For the future, if you make the same recipe, start with 1/2 cup sugar and then cook for a bit and taste and add a bit more as needed. For 12 oz. cranberries I use 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar, which varies depending on the inherent sweetness (or not) of the particular batch of berries.
posted by gudrun at 8:04 AM on November 24, 2011

Orange zest.
posted by looli at 9:04 AM on November 24, 2011

Response by poster: Problem solved... by doing nothing. I let the sauce sit overnight in the fridge, and tried some this morning (on the oatmeal.) It was great, and everyone liked it at dinner.

I guess I'm a genius! Rather, the folks at America's Test Kitchen are.

Thanks to everyone, hope you all had a good dinner.
posted by Marky at 4:29 PM on November 24, 2011

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