The holidays would not be the same without Cranberry Horseradish Sauce, aka Bobbie’s Berries! These easy-to-follow instructions will show you how to make my grandmother’s signature dish, homemade cranberry sauce with a spicy kick!
I LOVE preparing and eating Thanksgiving dinner. It is truly my favorite meal of the year, and this cranberry horseradish sauce MUST be a part of it. This cranberry sauce is known as “Bobbie’s Berries” in my family because it’s my grandmother Bobbie’s signature recipe.
I know what you’re thinking -horseradish in cranberry sauce? It may sound bizarre, but this is by far my most requested Thanksgiving recipe. It is slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and compliments turkey perfectly.
Did I mention how easy making cranberry sauce from scratch is? You will never reach for a can of cranberry sauce again! To make Bobbie’s berries, you will need only 5-ingredients and 10 minutes of your time. Your fridge will do the rest of the work.
Bobbie’s Berries Ingredients //
- Fresh Cranberries: These tart berries are perfect for holiday recipes. When they’re perfectly ripe, you should be able to give them a gentle squeeze without bursting. Mushy cranberries are too ripe.
- Plain Gelatin Packets: This cranberry sauce is thick and jiggly. Gelatin helps achieve that.
- Water: You’ll need water to boil the cranberries and to dissolve the gelatin.
- Sugar: Fresh cranberries are pretty sour and NEED sugar. This sauce has the perfect balance of sweet AND spicy.
- Horseradish: kicks this cranberry sauce up SEVERAL notches. You want to be using raw horseradish or prepared horseradish here. Horseradish “sauce” has a bunch of added ingredients we don’t want.
How to Make // The Steps
Step 1: Wash cranberries and prepare the mold.
Place your cranberries in a colander and rinse well. Pick over them if you need to. Also, line a bowl or gelatin mold with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Step 2: Boil cranberries.
Put the cranberries in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook until the cranberries soften and burst.
Step 3: Dissolve gelatin.
While the cranberries boil, add the packets of gelatin to 1/2 cup of water. Gently stir until the gelatin dissolves.
Step 4: Process ingredients.
Transfer the boiled cranberries to a food processor or food mill along with the sugar and dissolved gelatin. Process until smooth. Add the horseradish, give it a quick pulse and then taste. Not spicy enough? Add a little bit of horseradish at a time until it’s perfect.
Step 5: Let sauce set.
Transfer the jellied sauce to the plastic-lined bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least overnight but no longer than 2 to 3 days.
Step 6: Unmold and serve.
When your cranberry sauce is firm and has some jiggle, you can turn it out onto a serving dish -and that’s it. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks //
- Frozen cranberries also work in this recipe. There’s no need to thaw them first. Boil them frozen just as you would fresh until they soften and pop.
- If you happen to get your hands on fresh horseradish, be sure to grate it finely. It’s potent, so start with a little and taste before you add any more.
- This recipe makes a perfectly delicious traditional cranberry sauce without the horseradish. That said, you can leave the horseradish out. For gatherings, I set aside half of the cranberry sauce without any horseradish.
- A little bit of horseradish goes a long way. Start with a tablespoon and add just a bit at a time until it’s just right. Please don’t make my mistake. A few years ago, I plopped a few spoonfuls in without tasting it. There were a lot of watering eyes and runny noses that Thanksgiving.
Why is Cranberry Horseradish Sauce So Good? //
- Making cranberry sauce from scratch tastes SO much better than canned.
- It’s quick, easy and has only 5-ingredients.
- You can make it as mild or as spicy as you want.
- Adding horseradish sauce to cranberry sauce is a great way to switch things up.
Bobbie’s cranberry sauce is perfect just the way it is, but there’s certainly room to customize it and transform it into your signature holiday dish:
- Berries – Try making cranberry sauce with a blend of fresh raspberries, cherries and cranberries.
- Citrus – Add fresh orange or lemon zest into the sauce.
- Spices – Season the cranberries with warming spices while they’re cooking (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc.).
How to Store //
Storing: Jellied cranberry sauce can be made up to a few days in advance and kept in the mold until you’re ready to serve. Leftovers should be refrigerated in a shallow airtight container for up to 10 days.
Make-Ahead and Freezer Options //
Freezing is not recommended
Freshly grated raw horseradish is best here, but that’s not always easy to find, so a jar of “prepared horseradish” is just fine. “Horseradish sauce” won’t work as it has added ingredients that will change the taste and texture.
Cranberry horseradish sauce is best served cold or at room temperature.
Cranberry Horseradish Sauce
- 2 1/2 packets plain gelatin
- 1 bag 1 quart fresh cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons horseradish or more to taste
- Wash and pick over the cranberries. Put the cranberries in a saucepan with the water and boil over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. The cranberries will soften and begin to pop.
- Dissolve the gelatin in a 1/2 cup of water. Line a bowl with plastic wrap.
- Put the boiled cranberries in the food processor or a food mill.
- Add the sugar and the dissolved gelatin to the bowl and process until smooth.
- Add the horseradish. Pulse it and then give it a taste. Add more horseradish if you want a spicier cranberry sauce.
- Pour the cranberry sauce into the prepared bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight or for a few days.
- Unmold and serve.