This low-sugar or sugar-free cranberry sauce is light and zingy and tastes of pure cranberry.
On the big day, it’s a real treat having something one less thing to make that is yet still homemade.
You can double or triple the batch, if you wish.
This makes great seasonal gifts, too. Smaller sampler size jars (125 ml / 4 oz) can make nice remembrances at Christmas.
You can make this with sugar, or with alternative sweeteners (see “Sugar Alternatives” below.)
There’s also a cranberry sauce with rum.
See also: other cranberry products.
Jar size choices: 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz) OR quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 2 x quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars
Headspace: 1 cm (¼ inch)
Processing time: 10 minutes
- 350 g cranberries (3 cups / 12 oz. Fresh or frozen.)
- 350 ml water (1 ½ cups / 12 oz)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Pomona Pectin
- 1 teaspoon calcium water
- 100 g sugar (white. ½ cup / 4 oz. See also "Sugar Alternatives" below.)
- Wash and stem the cranberries.
- Take a large stainless steel pot. Put in it the cranberries and water.
- Put pot on stove over high heat and bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce to a steady simmer for 10 minutes or until the cranberries are soft and have popped.
- Remove pot from stove.
- Take a quarter of the cranberry pulp, put in a small bowl.
- Whisk in the pectin powder all at once and then either the sugar or liquid stevia or honey, set aside.
- Add the calcium water into the pot with the rest of the cranberry; stir well.
- Put pot back on stove, and bring the mixture to a full boil.
- Add the pectin mixture a small dollop at a time to the pot mixture, stirring all the while.
- When the pectin mixture is all in, let the mixture cook for 1 more minute.
- Ladle into quarter-litre (½ US pint / 8 oz) jars.
- Leave 1 cm (¼ inch) headspace.
- Debubble, then adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath or steam canner.
- Process for 10 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
For stevia, we would recommend Better Stevia liquid stevia .
Information about Pomona pectin.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
- Instead of the sugar, you could use the same volume amount of Splenda®, or 125 ml honey ½ cup / 4 oz) or 1 teaspoon liquid stevia.
- If you are using liquid stevia, how much stevia you need will depend on the tastes of your crowd. Try the indicated amount first, then if you want sweeter add ½ teaspoon at a time.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. If frozen, do not thaw first.
- Instead of boiling the cranberries in all water, you can replace ⅓ of the water (125 ml / ½ cup / 4 oz) with orange juice to add citrus notes to the taste.
- After simmering the cranberries, you want to end up with around 500 ml (2 cups / 16 fluid oz) of cranberry pulp. A bit less or more is fine. You can make this pulp a day ahead if desired, and store overnight covered in the refrigerator.
- Once a jar of this is opened, store any leftovers in refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.
Sumberg, Mary Lou. Cranberry Sauce (Jellied). Pomona Pectin Web Site posting. 18 October 2013. Accessed Nov 2015.
- Left chunky by removing part about passing cranberry pulp through a strainer, but you can do that if you wish.
Sugar-free version with liquid stevia
Per 2 tablespoons:
- 30 calories, 12 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 1 to 6 tablespoons, 0 points; 7 to 20 tablespoons, 1 point
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been searching for info re canning truly SF cranberry sauce! Stevia is my favorite sweetener for noncooked things, but I do find once cooked, it tends to lose it’s sweetness. I did notice the sweetener wasn’t added til after cooking, but wonder about the continued cooking from the canning process. Am also wondering if using the Now Stevia Glycerite may help with this issue?
Stevia doesn’t lose its sweetness during cooking according to all lab research we’ve read — that’s likely perception. What you may find is that, as with any sweetener, some ingredients are better at masking the taste of sweetener better than other things. For instance, you can add a lot of sweetener of any kind to rhubarb and still barely taste any sweetness, as its sourness is so powerful that it’s good at masking sweetness. We added the stevia at the end of cooking for the same reason it’s best to salt soups, stews and sauces at the end of cooking — you want to season the final reduced volume rather than the initial larger pre-cooking volume.
I have the same issue with stevia I couldn’t stand it in my coffee or tea. It’s ok in some things but I wasn’t a huge fan. Anyway, I came to like liquid monkfruit sweetener better. Maybe that would work for you as well? I like ‘ NOW Real Food, organic Monk Fruit zero calorie liquid sweetener” hope that helps.
While Stevia may be a choice for some, I have found that to me (and some others) it is bitter. I cannot use Stevia in anything without the worst, bitter taste. It may be wise to try other sweeteners if giving this for gifts. While agave may add more calories, it is a far better taste than stevia. If you are not making this for diabetics, I would suggest staying away from Stevia.
One thing that is true about life is that everyone has different tastes, and there’s no pleasing everyone, so there’s no point in trying! I personally have found that the Better Stevia products have zero bitterness, and most people seem to agree, which is why I’ve listed that under references but there’s always one or two that don’t taste any bitterness in it until you tell them it’s stevia then right away they swear they do on the spot. But you’d fritter yourself into an early grave if you worried about that.
This is a Pomona recipe, which are wonderfully flexible recipes that allow us a choice of sweetener, so agave could certainly be safely used here. I myself don’t care for the taste of agave but some may, if they can find it in where they live (it’s not easily available everywhere.) Honey could also be used, or Splenda.
If you are using agave (or honey) as a sweetener in other non-Pomona recipes, you may wish to consider if it impacts the pH of the recipe significantly, or impacts the density. Or, just stick with refined white sugar.
The reason I chose to list liquid stevia as an alternative after much consideration is because it does not increase density, or impact pH, two key safety factors, and those are always the priority factors, and the brand I used does not taste bitter in most people’s judgement that I know of so far. It also works out to be quite economical as so little is needed, and because it is so concentrated, if people decide to mail order it, shipping won’t cost the earth.
But again, everyone’s taste is different — my parents, who never met a bland food they didn’t love, think parsley is a hot spice! And I’ve seen a few vocal canners warn off everyone else against putting a bay leaf in home canned veggies, as those few didn’t like the taste of bay leaves, whereas a great many do. As the Romans said, “De gustibus non est disputandum” (there’s no arguing about taste), and it’s still true and probably always will be.