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Quick cranberry sauce recipe

cranberries and clementinesTwo years ago I made cranberry sauce to die for. It kept for months in the fridge and was wolfed down with everything from goat’s cheese toasties to roast chicken. I particularly loved it with brie in sandwiches. In fact we both agreed that it really comes into its own after Christmas, when it is not jockeying for position with so many other treats. Although I would feel bereft if it didn’t make an appearance on Christmas Day.

Cranberry sauce is dead easy to make and it’s quick too. Once you’ve tasted homemade you’ll probably never want to buy a jar again. I spotted a two for one offer on cranberries at the supermarket and pounced on them. It took me half an hour to make this sauce. It is not nearly as sweet as commercially produced sauce and is perfect with turkey, goose, game and cheese.

Update – 23rd December 2007. Today I made a new cranberry sauce recipe you can find it here.

Quick cranberry sauce recipe


  • 300g of fresh cranberries
  • 4 clementines (juice and zest)
  • 120g white granulated sugar
  • 25-50ml of Port (to taste)


  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 them all). Squeeze the juice and add the zest, pulp and juice to the cranberries.
  4. Add the sugar 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 to 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 if ready, remove from the heat and stir in the port.
  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 160c (140c 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.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Crystal

    I’ve no idea how many jars this recipe made. I put it in small jars. Probably the euivalent to 3 half pound jars. It doen’t last that long even if you keep it in the fridge, so smaller jars may be a better idea.

  2. This recipe sounds fab and I am going to make some for myself, my Mum and my Mum in Law.

    Do you know approximately how many jars it will make? I want to make six l1b jars ideally.

    Thanks again for a great site

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Marilyn

    It might be worth experimenting with dried ones if fresh cranberries are not available. You’d need to soak them in a small amount of boiling water for a few minutes to rehydrate them. If you do try this I’d be interested to hear how you get on.

  4. I’d love to give this a go but do you know whether using dried cranberries would work?

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Anne

    Of course you can make this ahead and freeze it. 3 months is probably the limit to enjoy the sauce at its best. However, I found that the sauce kept well in the fridge. We were eating this in February last year and I made it a week before Christmas.

  6. Your cranberry sauce recipe sounds lovely – can I make ahead and freeze? If so, how long can I keep it in the freezer for and should I just defrost at room temp when needed?

    Thank you

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Joan,

    I am really sorry but I can’t help you. A quick search on Google “Diabetic cranberry sauce recipe UK” threw up loads of results but I don’t know enough about sugar substitutes to advise you which would be the best.

    Is there a diabetic society in the UK? I am sure that there must be one. If so, I am sure that they could help you with recipes, books etc.

    I’d love you hear how you get on.

  8. Joan McClelland

    Hi I am looking for recipes for cranberry sauce, jams and chutneys for diabetics what can I use instead of sugar? please help I have been looking for ages
    Kind regards

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Great idea. We add it to gravy so why not this sauce. Thanks.

  10. angie loves veg

    Try using your sloe gin instead of the port.

    *super yummy*

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