Recipe: Mom Parsons’ Cranberries

CRANBERRIES: A must-have at the Thanksgiving table.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)


Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 1 to 3 days chilling time

The basic recipe on the back of the cranberry bag is easy, but with just a little extra effort, you can create a really special sauce that exudes both tartness and sweetness.

This recipe, from the family of Times Food Editor Russ Parsons, has become a Thanksgiving favorite, and it’s simple. Just be sure to leave enough time before serving for the flavors to settle--about three days is ideal, though we’ve made it the day before and it turned out well. Also, be careful not to overcook the cranberries; they should pop when you bite.


Mom Parsons’ Cranberries

Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 1 to 3 days chilling time

Servings: 2 1/2 cups relish

1 1/2 cups sugar


3/4 cup water

3 cloves

3 allspice berries

2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries

Grated zest of 1 orange

1. Bring sugar, water, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks to boil in 4-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring, until syrup is clear, about 3 minutes. Add cranberries and cook just until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, add grated orange zest and cool.


3. Refrigerate 1 to 3 days before serving. Remove cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks before serving.

Each 1/4-cup serving: 132 calories; 1 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 0 fat; 35 grams carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.41 gram fiber.