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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. kath mansfield

    just made my cranbeery sauce its grrrrreat about to put into jars

  2. kate (uk)

    Try adding a slug of Cassis to it- yum yum.

  3. My Mum makes her own cranberry sauce every year and it is so much better than anything you can buy in the shops.

    My parents are staying with me for the first time this Christmas so I’m practising my recipes – this was delicious, nice and tart. I’ve put some in jars but I’m going to make some more batches as I think I’ll have finished the first batch by Christmas Day.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Clare

    Yes you use the juice, zest and any flesh that’s in the juice. Discard the skins and the juiced flesh.

    Hope that this turns out well for you.

  5. just would like to ask. i was alittle confused about clemitines once i’ve removed the zest do i peel them and then squeeze hard and add all the flesh and juice, as in the ingredients it says juice and zest but in method it says add pulp, zest and juice. i’m alittle confused sorry.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rose,

    We made our new version of this recipe this year and I think that the spices made all the difference so I hope that the mulled wine had the same effect.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Crystal,

    Do you live in the USA? I know that American grams are different to UK ones. This is a tart sauce. I don’t know what went wrong. Thanks for letting me know.

    Hi Kate,

    I love cranberries too. We made quite a few jars this year and have guzzled loads. It was great with the roast goose that we had on Christmas day.

  7. I love cranberries … they haven’t been available here in the same way as in years past. The cranberry harvest wasn’t great this year. I have several packages in my freezer because I make a lemon cranberry cake that is delicious. Cranberry sauce is a must at Christmas – my mum made one this year that had much less sugar than in years past and was it ever good!

  8. we just made your sauce..i have to say we find it way too sweet. all we could taste was sugar.and before you ask yes the mesurements were correct. i had to add an onion and salt to make it any where near edible for us..i’m sure that if you have a sweet tooth and think cranberries are normally too tart it’s fine..if you don’t i would recommend starting with half the sugar and going from there..

  9. Making the sauce now. Hope a splash of mulled wine will be a tasty alternative to port!

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sara

    I’m making mine this afternoon. Finally found cranberries in Sainsbury’s. I think the cinnamon stick sounds like a good twist.

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