Cranberry Sauce can be mostly sugar - but NOT this one. Mary Jones of radio fame had me doing this one on the air, - in 2014 - Thank you Mary!
Essentially, all that is involved is buying, cleaning and sorting the berries - boiling them till it is sauce - Sweeten to taste, with ZERO CALORIE Sweetener - cool and serve. DONE ! All the fun, not much work or guilt!
Bring home Fresh cranberry from the market. One small bag and one batch for your first try at it. You can always make more - it is 15 minutes, start to finish. Check that the berries are firm and healthy - no fun at all, if you get them home and they are not good.
Bring water to boil in a GLASS or stainless steel pan* ; a bit more than the volume of the berries. *A metal pan may corrode and ruin the sauce - trash ruined berries and start over .
SORT the berries into a bowl, then add them and one sprinkle of salt to the boiled water. A few bad berries can ruin the sauce. Test for firmness and good looks before adding to the water. Mush ones are bad. Firm/hard ones are good, unless you spy some other faux.
COOK : Stirring constantly with a gentle spoon to prevent sticking; the boiling water will stop, when you add the berries , then resume. Once the boil resumes, lower the heat to medium-high and add any good zero-calorie sweetener to taste. NOT too much - you can Add more later if the result is not sweet enough but much more work to fix it if it is too sweet.
DANGER of hot splashing - keep children and YOU safe in this.
SKIM AND HAVE FUN - the berries pop like popcorn - can be enjoyed from a safe distance ! Sometimes a froth will form - leave it and stir it in, or skim it off and discard it - your choice.
REDUCE - keep stirring till all the berries are popped and the sauce has boiled down/ reduced to a nice thick business that LOOKS like proper whole berry cranberry sauce. It thickens a bit when cooled , so keep this in mind.
REMOVE and COOL - when the sauce IS sauce, slide it off the heat and let it cool a bit - do not cover it. Mixture is HOT - if there are children near, do not let them near the hot sauce. Serious burns result.
TEST SWEETNESS - at serving time, with sauce having cooled and rested, taste again to be sure the sweetness is right - add more if needed - if it is too sweet, some dry wine will cut that a bit.
OPTIONS - add things! flavorings if you like at this point - liqueurs, juices, extracts like almond. FRUITS , like live mandarin sections , or sliced apples, Pomegranate or raspberries or other berry....or even a little wine.
SERVE WITH - the classic Thanksgiving Turkey - or as a dessert sauce; with cakes , or puddings; with greek yoghurt or whipped cream or over ice cream.
REJOICE - the calories are negligible in this sauce, though the ice cream and whipped cream and cakes run the tally upward. if the sauce seems too thick later: Add juice or boiled water and stir. heat in microwave to a bubble for a moment, to thin it.
The cranberry sauce itself is fresh, wholesome and very tasty - One more for your "all of the fun / none of the guilt" cookbook.