It is so easy to make your own cranberry sauce and you certainly can make it in advance. I canned mine but if you don't want to can it, this will keep for weeks in the refrigerator in a covered container. I don't bother with a water bath either. As long as the jars are hot and the sauce has just boiled, all you do is add the sauce to the jar and within 20 minutes the lids will seal. Just make sure the lid and the lip of the jar are clean so you get a good seal.
And because I am an idiot, here are more photos of the gravy making process. I wanted to make sure to show them since so many of you are going to try this recipe. It seemed like I was missing photos yesterday when I posted the recipe. I found them this morning. After I make the stock, I refrigerate it to let the fat accumulate on the top. Once it is cold, I scrape the fat off the top and throw it out. The stock will be very jelly like. Dump it into a pot and heat it over low heat.
It will return to a liquid very quickly.
Bring it to a boil.
Slowly whisk in the slurry.
Strain out any lumps.
Pour it into your container and add some fresh chopped parsley. I hope these additional photos help.
On to the cranberry sauce.
Measure 2 cups of sugar into a heavy pot. I made a crap load of this so I will give you the measurements to make a normal amount for your Thanksgiving.
Add 1 cup of water.
Add 1 cup of port.
Add 4 star anise. Don't skip this step. This really adds flavor.
Add 2 cinnamon sticks.
Whisk it all around.
Bring it to a boil and whisk it until the sugar is dissolved. Your kitchen should smell wonderful just about now.
Stir in 2 bags of cranberries or about 6 cups.
Add the zest of 1 orange.
Add the juice from that orange.
Continue to cook over medium heat at a slight boil. You will her the cranberries begin to pop. I remove it from the heat when some of the cranberries are still whole because I like the consistency.
While still hot, fill hot canning jars. Make sure to remove the star anise and the cinnamon sticks. If you don't want to put it in jars, let it sit on the counter until it cools, then place it in a container and refrigerate it. It will thicken as it cools.
This is good served on ice cream, spread on toast and of course as an accompaniment to your turkey. It is good spread on turkey sandwiches and as a topping on cheese with crackers. It can also be mixed into cream cheese to use as a spread on crackers and when I make it that way, I add a bit of horseradish. You can also add it to whipped cream for a different topping for your pumpkin pie. I will stop now. I get carried away with food ideas! But you should make this, you won't be sorry!