Q. I may have gone a bit overboard with the cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, and I made up much more than I needed. The thing is, I love cranberry sauce but really only get to eat it a few times a year, since it’s not really the type of food that most people eat on a regular basis. Anyway, the bottom line is that I now have way too much leftover cranberry sauce on my hands and I don’t know what to do with it. I made it from scratch, so I don’t want all my hard work to go to waste. Is there a way to keep it fresh? Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
A. Good news! Yes, you can freeze cranberry sauce, and freezing the homemade kind if actually better than freezing that canned stuff because your recipe probably has more natural ingredients in it. Cranberries can be frozen fresh, cooked, dried, or even in juice form, so there’s no reason why it can’t be frozen as a sauce. Like any sauce with a high water content there is a chance that some separation may occur during the freezing and thawing process, but the taste and quality of the cranberry sauce should not be affected.
How to Freeze Cranberry Sauce?
To freeze cranberry sauce, make sure that the sauce has cooled completely first. Freeze sauce within a day of cooking, so that it is at its peak freshness and the flavour is as concentrated as it can be. It’s a good idea to freeze cranberry sauce in smaller quantities so that you don’t have to worry about having too much left over. Choose small freezer bags so that you can freeze half a cup to a cup in each package.
Place the cranberry sauce in a freezer bag and squeeze out the excess air, leaving a small bit of headroom at the top to allow for expansion. Seal the bag and then label and date it. Cranberry sauce will keep frozen for up to a year, although it will slowly lose some of its flavour the longer it’s frozen.
How to Defrost Cranberry Sauce?
To thaw cranberry sauce, remove the bag from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge. It can also be defrosted in a microwave. Once thawed, give the cranberry sauce a good stir to bring it back to its thicker consistency. It can be served cool or reheated in a saucepan if you prefer a warm sauce.