My Secret Family Recipe for Cranberries


Since it’s ALMOST Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday because Thanksgiving = food) I thought I would share my “secret” family recipe for cranberries. I don’t believe in secret recipes because I think it’s dumb. I love to share my recipes (obviously) because 1. Why wouldn’t you want to share them with someone? I want everyone to eat something delicious! And 2. You totally get credit for the recipe when someone makes it!


My mom and I make these cranberries for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas every year. This recipe came from my great grandmother. My mom’s dad’s mother. So my grandfather’s mother. Grandmom Deane. DISCLAIMER: This recipe is the most un-paleo recipe of all time. You’ve been warned. But it is delicious and warms my soul and that’s worth it. 


It came to my attention that most people eat cranberries out of a can which makes me want to scream and cry and yell. If that’s your thing then fine, but don’t tell me about it PLEASE! This is the easiest recipe of all time and so delicious. I like to put it on my turkey, dressing, black eyed peas, mashed potatoes, rolls, heck I would put it on anything!! It’s basically cranberry jelly. My mouth is watering so let’s get the party started.


First get yo cranberries. FRESH! Get two bags of cranberries, rinse and strain them, and pick out any of the funny ones. Pour them in a medium sized pot. 


Now for the fun part. Get a giant bag of sugar and pour six cups over the cranberries. Yes I did say six cups. This is not a drill. I told you this was basically cranberry jelly didn’t I? 


Are there cranberries under all that sugar? Yep.


Now add 2/3 cup of water and turn on the heat to medium high.



Gently stir the cranberries so they are mixed with the sugar and water. Once the sugar starts to melt then it will be easier to stir. It isn’t necessary to stir continually but I like to stir them every now and then so the sugar doesn’t caramelize on the bottom of the pan. Even though that would be delicious later but we don’t want that this time! 



Here’s where the magic starts to happen. The cranberries start to pop and it’s like music to my ears. It’s so good. That means they’re getting there! Bring the cranberries to a boil and as my great grandmother said, “boil vigorously” for fifteen minutes. Once they start to boil I turn the heat down just a smidge to medium so it doesn’t boil over. This is the part where the cranberries start to break apart and turn into a really magical syrup. After boiling for fifteen minutes, let cool and then funnel into mason jars. The recipe says it makes four pints but I like to really fill up those jars so it only makes three for me. Keep in the fridge and take out a few minutes before serving.


I hope you enjoy this sweet family recipe. Share it with your family and friends! Tell someone you love them with cranberries! 


print recipe
Grandmom Deane's Cranberries
  • 2 12 ounce packages cranberries
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
Wash and drain cranberries. Pour in a medium sized pot. Add sugar and water. Turn heat on medium high. Stir. Boil vigorously for 15 minutes. Let cool and pour into mason jars. Makes 3-4 pints. Use on turkey, dressing, biscuits, etc. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 pints

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