I grew up eating canned cranberries. Nothing compares to the fresh sauce. It really is easy to make. I use the recipe on the bag of the Ocean Spray cranberries. The only difference is that I add the juice of one lemon at the end after straining the berries. You do not have to strain. This recipe works perfectly either way. I personally prefer a smooth sauce to a lumpy sauce.
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place the sugar and water in a large pot on the stove. Cook until boiling.
Now add the cranberries. Here is the fun part for kiddos. They will pop just like popcorn. I recommend a fry screen over the pot to keep the hot sugar from splashing little faces. Here is a photo after one popped.
Boil this on low, stirring often. Add lemon juice at the end.
Here is the labor intensive part (if you do not want skins). Strain the mixture though a mesh collander or food mill. Here is a photo of my setup. Super fancy, right?
I gently mash the craberries through the strainer with a spoon and collect the at the bottom. The sauce keeps in the refrigerator for 14 days and also freezes well.