How To Fix Bitter Cranberry Sauce

You never want to add more sugar.

Cranberry Sauce
Photo: bhofack2/Getty Images

No matter how diligently you plan for the day, some kind of kitchen flop always transpires on Thanksgiving. Hey, that's OK. We all can't be Ree Drummond.

But this year, how about avoiding one of the most common Turkey Day transgressions? Bitter cranberry sauce, no more!

If your cranberry sauce comes out tasting too bitter, don't reach for the sugar. Granulated sugar might make the situation worse, especially if you don't have time to reheat the sauce so the sugar can dissolve properly.

Instead, reach for another sweetener: maple syrup. It's already liquid so it will incorporate into the cranberry sauce.

Then, reach for something a bit tangy. Yes, add more tang to the bitter. But make it something that will enhance the sweetness of the existing sugars, like orange juice, apple juice, or white wine.

Finally, add a pinch (and we do mean a pinch) of salt. Salt, it turns out, actually intensifies sweetness. It's why Southerners add salt to their watermelon.

If you don't have maple syrup or think its distinct taste may overpower your cranberry sauce, you can also try swapping that out for more neutral agave syrup or brown rice syrup.

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