Wild cranberries, known as lingonberries in Sweden, also referred to as partridge berries, cowberries, foxberries and low bush or dry ground cranberries, are plentiful in northern boreal forests in Canada, Alaska and Scandinavia. They are abundant in the early fall, and have a similar but more intense flavour than commercial bog cranberries (e.g. Ocean Spray). They are considered a superfood - rich in antioxidents and quercetin.
This easy recipe can be made with either wild or commercial cranberries. It can be used right away or canned in preserving jars for later use.
Step 1: Gather or Purchase Cranberries
If you are gathering wild cranberries, wait until the berries are red with no white showing. Traditionally it is considered best to wait until after the first frost, but it's fine to pick them earlier as long as the berries are completely red, as in the above photo. Wash the berries by floating them in a large bowl of water and remove any leaf debris. I used wild cranberries which I gathered near Marsh Lake, Yukon, Canada, for this instructable.
If using commercial cranberries, just open the package!
Step 2: Cook on Stovetop
In a saucepan, mix:
- 2 cups of cranberries
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 2/3 to 1 cup of sugar, to taste
- 1 tsp dried orange or lemon rind (optional)
Stir continuously over medium heat for about 10 minutes, keeping it at a low boil.
Step 3: Enjoy Either With Meat or As a Dessert Topping
Cranberry sauce is delicious with turkey, roast beef or meats. Wild cranberries contain a natural preservative and the sauce will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
It is also delicious as a dessert topping, with a tart fruity flavor that contrasts well with ice cream (shown here in a purchased waffle bowl), cake or pudding.
If you've made lots of sauce, you can put it in preserving jars and process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, to extend shelf life to up to 2 years.