Wash the cranberries in cold water, and pick well, rejecting all those that float on top or are in any manner overripe and spoiled. Put them in a porcelain-lined saucepan, with one pint of water, and let them boil over a moderate fire, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, and mashing the fruit as much as possible. When the Berries have cooked about twenty minutes, remove the saucepan from the fire, and add the sugar, stirring in sufficient sugar to sweeten nicely. Let them cook at least ten or fifteen minutes longer, after adding the sugar, and put into an earthen bowl, and let the Sauce cool. Never strain the Sauce. Many do, but the Creoles have found out that Cranberry Jelly is a very poor and insipid Sauce, compared with that of the whole fruit, when formed into a Sauce in an earthen mold. Liquid Cranberry is a very poor apology for the dainty crimson mold of the native fruit. The following directions for cooking this fruit are given in detail because so few know how to purchase and prepare it properly:
Never, when buying Cranberries, select the pale, whitish fruit. They are unripe and unfit for use. Select fine, large, crimson-colored fruit.
Never cook Cranberries in a metal saucepan; nor even in one of agate or the brightest tin. The Berries absorb the taste, as they are an acid fruit, and your best efforts will fail in making a fine Sauce. Use always a porcelain-lined saucepan.
Do not put much water in the Cranberries. The proportion of a half a pint to every quart should be rigidly observed.
Never add the sugar to the Cranberries until they have first boiled steadily at least twenty minutes, or else the Cranberries are liable to burn. After twenty minutes, add sugar to taste. Do not be sparing of the sugar. Be careful to measure out a good, full pint for every quart of Berries you are cooking. Take the Cranberries off the stove, and stir in the sugar thoroughly, and let them boil again at least ten or fifteen minutes after you have added the sugar. Stir them often to keep from burning.
Never put the cooked Cranberries into tin or metal molds. Use always an earthenware bowl or mold.
Never dip the molds into water before putting in the Cranberries. Let them be well washed and dried some time, as dipping them into water renders the Cranberries bitter. When you wish to remove the Cranberries from the bowl or mold, press them on the top, and gently loosen them at the bottom by setting the mold into hot water long enough to warm it through, and thus loosen the Cranberries, without warming them.
And, finally, remember never to strain the Cranberries, and not to use them on the same day on which they were cooked. Let them stand at least over night, or twenty-four hours, in a cool place, before serving. Serve Cranberry Sauce with Roast Turkey.