The Cottage Smallholder

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Cranberry and clementine sauce recipe

cranberry and clementine sauceI finally found cranberries in the Cambridge Sainsbury’s store on Friday. I wanted to whoop with joy and run around the store waving them over my head. Instead I quickly grabbed two packs and quietly popped them into my basket. I’ve been looking for cranberries for weeks and was beginning to worry that we wouldn’t have homemade cranberry sauce with our Christmas goose this year.

We have a great cranberry sauce recipe here. Reading the comments on that article prompted me to give our sauce a new twist this year. Why not substitute sloe vodka for port and add some Christmassy spice?

I took the jars of mixed spice and allspice from the larder and let my nose choose. The Nose chose the allspice.

Danny’s tasting notes read:
“The sauce is very good, quite tart and fresh – the perfect foil for our goose. Nose chose well. Looking at the ingredients should keep well in the fridge for a couple of months.”

I love cranberry sauce with Stilton and lavished on a naughty Brie de Meaux sandwich it lightens the dullest February sky.

Like our Sloe and Bramley jelly, a tablespoon of this added to a game casserole or rich terrine will give an extra satisfying depth.

Cranberry and clementine sauce recipe


  • 400g of fresh cranberries
  • 5 clementines (juice and zest). You could use a couple of oranges at a push.
  • 160g white granulated sugar
  • half a teaspoonful of allspice
  • 60ml of sloe vodka (to taste). You could use sloe gin or a splash of brandy or even a half teaspoon of elderflower cordial. This ingredient is just to add depth.


  1. Wash the cranberries and discard any iffy fruit.
  2. Put the cranberries in a saucepan.
  3. Wash the clementines and remove the zest (just a little off each fruit to give you about half a teaspoonful from each one). Squeeze the juice and add the zest, pulp and juice to the cranberries.
  4. Add the sugar and allspice and stir well.
  5. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Taste the sauce at this stage, if you find the sauce is too tart for your taste, add a little more sugar.
  6. Pop on the lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the cranberries are soft and splitting. Some of them will cook more quickly than others. Stir the sauce gently every five minutes or so. When the sauce is ready, remove from the heat and stir in the sloe vodka.
  7. Pot in warm sterilised jars with plastic lined screw top lids. Store in the fridge. How do I sterilise jars? See tricks and tips below.

Tricks and tips:

How do I sterilise jars?

Just before making the sauce, quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160 c (140 c fan-assisted). When the oven has reached the right temperature turn off the heat and open the door. The bottles will stay hot for quite a while, so use oven gloves when removing them from the oven. Sterilise the lids by boiling these for a few minutes in water.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Graham

    I have no idea! Generally this is made in a rush just before Christmas. I do know that it makes more than one jar as I’ve given it away to friends and regreted it ;).

    I’m making it this week so will clock the amount that it makes.

  2. graham hilton

    roughly how much volume does your recipe yield?
    sounds lovely

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I hope that you had a great Christmas!

    I have never eaten a sweet cranberry dish. Must give it a go.

    Even though we made double the quantity of cranberry sauce in the recipe above, we have nearly run out (we did give away a few small jars). So fingers crossed that I’ll be able to find some more cranberries in the shops today.

    Cranberries in red cabbage – brilliant!

  4. A nice addition to cranberry sauce is Cassis, or failing a that, some black currant jam stirred in- gives it more depth.Any left over redcurrants found lurking in the freezer make a good addition too!I love cranberry sauce and cranberries are usually half price around Christmas so we have it tart with meat or sweet with ice cream….yum yum. and the colour is just glorious- add it to red cabbage too.Happy Christmas!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Amanda,

    I do hope that you had a great Christmas and are muscling up for a wonderful New Year in the Little Foodies household.

    Merry Christmas Celia and Cliff,

    Your cake decorations sound really stylish. The Cottage Smallholder Christmas cake was iced finally on Christmas day – things have been a bit frantic chez CS.

    I prefer this recipe to our other one. I think the allspice adds something special. I made double the amount so was able to give away a few jars on Christmas Eve.

    Hi Pat,

    Happy Christmas and I hope that you have a wonderful New Year.

    Your fresh cranberry and orange salad sounds delicious! I used to think that the commercially produced cranberry sauce was good until I made my own! It’s so easy too.

    Hi Toni Anne,

    I do hope that you had a good Christmas and that 2008 is a great year for you.

    Thank you so much for reading my blog.

    Hi Mildred,

    A Happy Christmas to you and Ian too. Have a good New Year! I have been thinking about the hedgehogs and piggies – I am sure that they had a great Christmas too.

    Thank you so much for all our help over the past months. Much appreciated!

    We had a quiet peaceful Christmas which was lovely. Back to work tomorrow!

  6. Another excellent recipe, thanks!

    All these preserves, chutneys etc make lovely gifts, if you can bear to part with any! A friend we only see once a year was thrilled to bits to receive some Quince Jelly and a pound of home made butter!

    Thank you for sharing your recipes, thoughts and experiences with us Fi, we have really enjoyed every post! We know you get great pleasure from writing about your cooking and baking of all manner of lovely food, now is the time for you to enjoy actually eating it!

    Wishing you, Danny, your Mum, your Min Pins, hens, GF’s, bees and whoever else I have forgotten, a very happy and peaceful Christmas x

  7. Have a lovely Christmas, thank you for your blog, I enjoy it enormously.

  8. Sounds lovely Fiona!!! I love fresh cranberry and orange salad for Christmas dinner. But your recipe sounds really delicious!!! Thanks for the tip with the jars too. Starting a nice little hoard here of jars. And Brian has been treatened if he touches them.

    Happy Holidays to everyone at Cottage Smallholding and looking forward to reading all the latest in the New year!

  9. Merry Christmas Fiona!
    A few weeks ago I spotted bags of fresh cranberries tucked away behind the ready prepared tropical fruit in Waitrose – we decided to stash some in the freezer ready for Christmas. They were half price!!! Must have lots of cranberry sauce left over for the turkey sandwiches.

    The Last Minute Christmas Cake is looking good. After levelling the top I’ve decorated it with white marzipan and coloured marzipan holly leaves and berries. We sampled the cake trimmings with the first glass of 2006 Sloe Gin – delicious!!!

  10. Sounds delicious! We wish the Cottage Smallholder Household a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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