Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Need help - Cranberry sauce is too bitter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,262

    Need help - Cranberry sauce is too bitter

    I made the below recipe yesterday and DH says it is too bitter. I don't like cranberry stuff at all so I am not really a good judge. Can I cook it some more with additional sugar? Will that help or just ruin it?

    Cranberry-Orange sauce

    2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
    1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cinnamon stick

    Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.




    Recipe Summary
    Difficulty: Expert
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Yield: 8 to 10 servings



    User Rating:
    Go for it!

  2. #2
    Wow, that's not much sugar. The recipe on the bag calls for 1 c. with each 12 oz. of berries. I'd put 1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar & 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan & bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves. Then stir add it to your sauce.
    Dorothy aka Martha

    Somewhere over the rainbow...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,262
    Thanks Dorothy!

    I just cooked the sauce again with more sugar. At first it tastes good but there is definetly a bitter after taste that lingers....hmmm
    Go for it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Un-American NY
    Posts
    8,611
    Is it possible that there was too much white pith attached to the orange peel? That would certainly make it bitter!

    Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,262
    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226 View Post
    Is it possible that there was too much white pith attached to the orange peel? That would certainly make it bitter!

    Bob
    I used my microplane to zest the orange so could be.

    I only made half the recipe so do you think if I threw in another bag of cranberries and some more sugar that might fix the problem?
    Go for it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Un-American NY
    Posts
    8,611
    Yeah, I think the suspect is the orange rind. Next time, use a vegetable peeler, using a light touch to avoid the pith, then chop it finely.

    I'm not sure I'd try to adjust it, given that, especially since you say that sweetening it once didn't eliminate it. It's one of those things like over-browning garlic that just permeates the dish. If you've got the berries and the sugar, I'd just redo it, or if you're spooked now, another recipe.

    I think, too, that I might try to take it as is and see if I could adjust it with honey, which is considerably sweeter and has more flavor than sugar and might...again, might....offset it.

    Sorry I can't come up with a clearcut solution!

    Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,262
    Thanks!!

    A second batch is just finishing up on the stove - thank goodness DH bought 2 bags of cranberries instead of just one!
    Go for it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Sykesville, Maryland
    Posts
    2,694
    When I cook cranberries i use 1 bag cranberries 1 cup sugar 1 cup water. I use slivers of orange peel and lemon too and some cinnamon and spices. Ocean Spray says
    HOMEMADE WHOLE BERRY CRANBERRY SAUCE
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray« Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained

    DIRECTIONS:

    Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.

    Makes 2 1/4 cups.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,262
    The 2nd batch turned out bitter too. I tasted just one of the cranberries this time and it is the berries that taste bitter -- I don't think it is the orange making it taste that way.

    We have a backup of canned cranberry sauce that we will have tomorrow. I will have my grandmother or MIL taste the stuff I made and see if they think it is as bitter as DH and I think it is.

    Thanks again for all the help here today!!

    Bob, next time I will try your chutney recipe. I would have done so today but I didn't have mustard seed or currants.
    Go for it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,352
    Scratch that recipe and make the Sangria Cranberry sauce TerriA posted. Yummmmmmmmm
    Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    6,483
    Quote Originally Posted by misskitty100 View Post
    The 2nd batch turned out bitter too. I tasted just one of the cranberries this time and it is the berries that taste bitter -- I don't think it is the orange making it taste that way.

    We have a backup of canned cranberry sauce that we will have tomorrow. I will have my grandmother or MIL taste the stuff I made and see if they think it is as bitter as DH and I think it is.

    Thanks again for all the help here today!!

    Bob, next time I will try your chutney recipe. I would have done so today but I didn't have mustard seed or currants.
    I just started trying to cook with fresh cranberries and suffice to say it has been a short-lived experiment. They always have this bitter aftertaste--both to me and DH, no matter how much sugar I add. Maybe it is just something some people taste and they are not good candidates for fresh cranberries?
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    I just started trying to cook with fresh cranberries and suffice to say it has been a short-lived experiment. They always have this bitter aftertaste--both to me and DH, no matter how much sugar I add. Maybe it is just something some people taste and they are not good candidates for fresh cranberries?
    That's what I was thinking as I read this thread. Cranberries are very, very tart and maybe it registers as tart to some and bitter to others. Kind of how some taste cilantro and think soap or metal and others love it.

    I do the one to one ratio that Vanessa posted but I use the juice of two oranges for my liquid, adding enough water to that to equal one cup.

    And a microplane is the perfect zester, IMO, so I don't think that would be responsible for getting any of the pith in there - I use it all the time and have never had a problem - it's so sharp that I think it allows you to avoid the pith more easily if anything.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    96

    I'm having the bitter problem also

    I wonder if it's the cranberries.... I bought some at Costco this year. In the past, I have always used Ocean Spray brand but these are a brand from Canada. I made a cranberry pear sauce and used some penzey's lemon peel because I was short on fresh lemons. So, I'm pretty sure it's not a pith problem in my case....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    6,483
    Quote Originally Posted by lindrusso View Post
    That's what I was thinking as I read this thread. Cranberries are very, very tart and maybe it registers as tart to some and bitter to others. Kind of how some taste cilantro and think soap or metal and others love it.

    I do the one to one ratio that Vanessa posted but I use the juice of two oranges for my liquid, adding enough water to that to equal one cup.

    And a microplane is the perfect zester, IMO, so I don't think that would be responsible for getting any of the pith in there - I use it all the time and have never had a problem - it's so sharp that I think it allows you to avoid the pith more easily if anything.
    I agree completely about the microplane--not even sure what else you would use. (ETA to insert appropriate face here to show that while I am well aware that you could zest citrus fruit before the invention of said microplane I personally think it is so easy and nice with a microplane I have no idea why anyone ever would).

    And yeah I love sour so I figured that cranberries are tart and I would like them fresh (with sugar). Just not so, they don't taste tart to us at all but rather quite bitter.
    Last edited by ljt2r; 11-22-2007 at 02:13 PM.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Un-American NY
    Posts
    8,611
    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    I agree completely about the microplane--not even sure what else you would use.
    So ten years ago when microplanes weren't a standard item, I guess no one ever grated a citrus fruit.

    Bob

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In my heaven on earth
    Posts
    13,242
    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    I agree completely about the microplane--not even sure what else you would use.
    Well, I don't have a microplane so when I need zest I usually use a veggie peeler and then chop finely.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    5,262
    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn1007 View Post
    Well, I don't have a microplane so when I need zest I usually use a veggie peeler and then chop finely.
    I did both methods for the sauce and they both turned out bitter.

    DH opened the canned stuff this morning and I ate one of the whole berries from it and there was not bitter after taste at all. Maybe it was the berries I bought. We got 2 Ocean Spray bags the other night from the store.



    Robyn - You MUST get a microplane asap!!!
    Go for it!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In my heaven on earth
    Posts
    13,242
    Quote Originally Posted by misskitty100 View Post
    Robyn - You MUST get a microplane asap!!!
    I don't zest very much so I keep putting them back when thinking about it.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn1007 View Post
    Well, I don't have a microplane so when I need zest I usually use a veggie peeler and then chop finely.
    I not only use my microplane for zest, but also for whole nutmeg and for fresh ginger. So, it's definitely a multi-tasker. TY AB.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    6,483
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    I not only use my microplane for zest, but also for whole nutmeg and for fresh ginger. So, it's definitely a multi-tasker. TY AB.
    Don't forget hard cheese like Asiago or Parmesan.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In my heaven on earth
    Posts
    13,242
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    I not only use my microplane for zest, but also for whole nutmeg and for fresh ginger. So, it's definitely a multi-tasker. TY AB.
    Well, I have a nutmeg grater, use ginger from a tube and while I love it don't use it often and have a rotary grater for my hard cheeses.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    6,483
    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn1007 View Post
    Well, I have a nutmeg grater, use ginger from a tube and while I love it don't use it often and have a rotary grater for my hard cheeses.
    I gotta admit I mince ginger (or used jarred) and have a nutmeg grater. I find the microplane too slow for those. I occasionally (if only one stock is needed) use the microplane for lemongrass bc then I don't need to pound it in the mortar/pestle since it is so woody otherwise (i.e., when minced).
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •