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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. I’m back for your recipe after making it last year for the family. I made lots to give away. Then regretted it.

    Its a brilliant recipe, I substituted damson gin for port as we don’t have any in the house and it worked perfectly. Particularly wonderful with cold left over goose in sandwiches.

  2. Have just made my cranberry sauce, used fresh but noticed yesterday that frozen are on offer in Sainsbury. Added some home made creme de Mure which was lovely

  3. Amanda (USA)

    So glad I’ve found this recipe after googling cranberry sauce & port. I left the UK in the summer and haven’t a clue where I put my old Christmas magazines (probably stored in our old loft).
    I had an amazing recipe for Cranberry Sauce but these ingredients sound very similar. I’m going to make it next week and by the sound of some of these posts it will be just as good as the old one.

    I’ll let you know!

  4. kate (uk)

    Soak your dried
    cranberries in warmed water/fruit juice before you use them so they plump up.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Carole

    I’d love to hear how it turns out. I’ve never used dried cranberries.

  6. I stumbled across your website when googling dried opposed to fresh.
    I am about to try your recipe for cranberry sauce using dried cranberries. I am spending Christmas in Crete and although there is a Lidl close by so far I have not seen fresh ones here. Did not think to bring ready made with me but think the fresh will be better anyway.
    Going to make today 12.12.08. Also going to try it in a Nigella recipe instead of sauce using fresh, she always recommends adaptability with her recipes !

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sarah

    You would need to add a bit of sugar or honey for sweetness. Or you could use sloe gin or vodka.

    With wine, it should be fine for Christmas.

  8. Hi – can I use red wine instead of Port and still keep it in the fridge even though I am going to make it today 9/12/08

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi James

    The alcohol ha stopped it freezing.

  10. James Laing

    I made some cranberry sauce with grand marnier last week and put in freezer but the sauce has not fully solidified in the freezer. Can you explain why

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