Behind The Scenes: 6 Steps to Crafting The Best Cranberry Sauce on Earth

Making high quality condiments is a labor of love, and no one knows this better than the dedicated individuals who craft Little Acre Gourmet’s artisan products. All of our products, including our Bourbon and Berry Cranberry Sauce, are created at Genuine Local, a specialty food facility (located in Meredith, New Hampshire) that is home to Little Acre and a myriad of other homegrown gourmet food companies. Creating our amazing cranberry sauce at Genuine Local is easy and quite honestly a good time! While we do utilize a commercial kitchen, they’re made by down-to-earth people in small batches with top-notch ingredients, and these details make a world of difference.

Genuine Local’s owners Mary and Gavin Macdonald are the brains and brawn behind the operation, taking a former warehouse and turning it into something beneficial to local New Hampshire businesses. The couple is involved directly with Little Acre’s production process, as they assist with steps like bottling and labeling. Another member of the Little Acre team is a nice gentleman who goes by the name of Ed. He can be found at Genuine Local about once a week: stirring, bottling, labeling, and shipping away!

To give you a taste of what it takes to go from simple ingredients to a specialty condiment, here is a breakdown of the process of creating our Bourbon and Berry Cranberry Sauce!

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients!

Before we get into the process, the ingredient list!

  1.   160 lbs. whole cranberries
  2.   Jim Beam Bourbon, 6 large bottles
  3.   Orange juice concentrate
  4.   Water
  5.   Cane sugar
  6.   Brown sugar
  7.   Orange peel
  8.   Cinnamon

Step 2: Cookin’ and Stirrin’

Cooking the bourbon on the stovetop is first and foremost when it comes to creating Bourbon and Berry Cranberry Sauce…after all, it is in the name! It simmers for an hour or so, just long enough to boil off most of the alcohol. Then, all of the ingredients are weighed and combined in a 40 gallon steam kettle, which acts as a kind of double boiler. The kettle is heated until it reaches its boiling point, which takes around two hours, and then boils for 15 minutes in order to finish the heating process. Keep in mind, the mixture has to be stirred the entire time, so I’m sure you can imagine how sore your arms would be afterwards! You know, if it wasn’t stirred by an automatic mixer…

Step 3: Fill ‘Em Up!

While the mixture is at 190 degrees or more, it is put into jars by none other than our friend, Ed! He uses a pneumatic filling machine (hand-operated!) to fill the jars to about a quarter inch from the top.

Step 4: Label ‘Em!

Then, the labels are applied to the jars (by machine or by hand) and the jars are placed in cartons where they are then turned upside down. This creates a vacuum so that the jars cool and seal properly. Little Acre Gourmet labels comply with FDA regulations, as major allergens are listed on all labels and ingredients are listed on all labels in order of weight.

Step 4: Cool and Store

After the jars sit for a few hours to make sure that they are cooled and sealed, they are inverted and stored on a pallet at Genuine Local until they are ready for delivery and/or shipping.

Step 5: Delivery

Most Little Acre Gourmet products, like our Bourbon and Berry Cranberry Sauce, are delivered straight to the retailer though sometimes they are shipped if needed.

Step 6: The Best Part: Eating It!

Now that we’ve gone through the process of creating this awesome condiment, it’s time for the fun part…enjoying the finished product! When we sample our Bourbon and Berry Cranberry Sauce, we love to serve it on crackers spread with cream cheese…it’s simply delightful! It’s also tasty with turkey sandwiches, ice cream, and peanut butter. Oh, and it makes a killer glaze for meats like chicken and even pork chops. But that’s just what we’ve tried it on, the options are truly endless!

We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek behind the scenes of Little Acre Gourmet, I know we enjoyed giving you a taste of what goes into our products. If you have a hankering for some Bourbon and Berry Cranberry Sauce, you can find a store near you here or order a jar (or five) directly from our website here.



Little Acre Gourmet

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