I don’t care that it’s only just December. I don’t care that they turned up when we were barely over halloween. I’ve been quashing down my festive feelings for months, and now, I don’t have to any more. Why?
Because fresh cranberries are in the shops. And that means it’s Christmastime.
I love cranberries, and yes, I know they aren’t particularly british, but who cares? They’re obscenely red, super delicious and pretty darn good for you, until you cover them in sugar. They’re a Christmas staple in my house, from sweet to savoury dishes throughout the season. The colour alone is reason enough to have them in your kitchen and on your plate, which makes this recipe perfect for the second entry in my Recipe Advent Calendar.
Last year I shared my cranberry mincemeat recipe, which is awesome in pies, tarts, cheesecakes and crumbles, but if theres one thing you NEED to make with cranberries this season, and then duly cover everything with, it’s cranberry sauce. I don’t care that it is readily available in the shops, homemade tastes so much better and is too easy for words. You’d even find time to whip it up while the turkey’s in on Christmas Day. So no excuses!
Spoons at the ready? Let’s go!
Yuletide Cranberry Sauce
- 300g cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 200g caster sugar
- 65ml water
- A healthy shot of cherry brandy
- 1 tsp mixed spice- make sure yours contains cloves.
- A healthy shot of Cointreau
Pop your cranberries in the pan with the water. If they are frozen, give them a few minutes until they begin to thaw before moving on to the next step.
Add in the brandy, spice and sugar and mix through. Let it cook on a simmer until the berries are really popping, stirring occasionally.
Beat the mixture to help those berries burst and release all their goodness and remove from the heat. Let sit for a minute an and add the cointreau just before you decant into jars or a bowl. If you want to cook off all the alcohol, then you can cook the sauce for another few minutes instead.
If you need to store, pot up in clear warm jars as for jam. Otherwise you can as easily keep in a bowl in the fridge once cooled and set.
Seriously, this recipe is just too simple. Cranberries are PACKED with pectin, making the setting process a doodle. They’re some of the easiest fruits to work with when it comes to making jams and jellies because of this. If you want a really simple sauce with no trace of alcohol, just leave it out. You can add some orange juice or extra water to make up for loss of liquid. Also, this sauce is still pretty tart, but if you want it tarter, leave out 50g of the sugar. Whatever you do, the result is super tasty, and the reddest red that ever did red.
Spread this sauce in sandwiches with brie or poultry, stir into gravies and soups for flavour or simple enjoy as is with roast dinners or cold meats and cheeses. Ugh, my mouth is watering.