2 December 2011

Favourite Recipe Friday - Cranberry Sauce

Today is another festive treat, now some of you may have made this before and it isn't particularly a difficult recipe. However since I first made cranberry sauce about six years ago I have only ever bought ready made for use in gravy or when cranberries are difficult to source (pardon the pun).

I even get asked to make this for family and it is my usual festive offering along with fudge!

This particular recipe I found a few years ago from Nigella, it uses cherry brandy which is fab. But if you don't have any or prefer no alcohol or just don't want to buy it specifically just for this sauce then you can use orange juice.

Because this lasts it can be made a week ahead of Christmas but I usually make on Christmas eve (mmm I suppose this is a tradition then).


1 x 300g pack fresh cranberries (if you can only find frozen ones these work just as well and are usually cheaper)
200g caster sugar
45ml cherry brandy (if you have it) or freshly squeezed orange juice if you'd prefer
75ml water


1. Put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and let it bubble away until the berries start to pop, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon. This will take about 10 minutes, I always stay in the room to make sure they don't catch on the bottom of the pan. 

2. One thing to remember is that cranberries are rich in pectin and solidify a lot on cooling, so although it will be cooked when all the berries have burst, it will still look runnier than you think cranberry sauce should.  

3. I usually just squish any stubborn cranberries with the back of the spoon but a vigorous stir works too, taste the sauce - making sure not to burn your mouth (honestly it is like licking the sun) - to check whether it needs more sugar. If you prefer it sweeter then you can add more at this stage, I usually add a bit at a time until it is sweet enough. If you find it too sweet, which is unlikely or add to much sugar, just add some lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.  

NB: If you cook this sauce in advance it turns quite solid, so stir through with a fork before serving.

The sauce can be frozen and then thawed over night but I usually find it lasts for weeks in the fridge, just transfer from the dish into a separate serving bowl so you don't transfer any germs/ bits of food back into it.

This sauce goes great with cold meats and chicken dinners so don't be afraid if it looks like loads, it always gets eaten in our house.

Favourite Recipe Friday

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