Today, I’ve got the most perfectly tart, spiced cranberry sauce. An easy to make homemade cranberry sauce that’s perfect for the holidays filled with warm, delicious spices.
Cranberries are one of my favourite fruits due to their tartness and I absolutely love baking with them. I think one of the reasons I love them so much is because the tartness is similar to my all time favourite berry, the partridgeberry. Partridgeberries, or lingonberries as the rest of the world knows them, are a common berry to pick in Newfoundland but are hard to find elsewhere. Cranberries are my pseudo replacement to make up for the lack of partridgeberries now in my life :P.
My spiced cranberry sauce is super easy to make and so yummy to eat around the holidays. Packed full of holiday spices, you can use it in so many ways, pairing it with both sweet and savoury dishes. This sauce is perfect to whip up for your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner and anyone who enjoys cranberry sauce will most certainly love a delicious homemade version!
How Can I Use This Sauce?
This spiced cranberry sauce is super versatile and you can use it in any way. For a savoury approach, top your turkey with it or spread it on a turkey sandwich. You can even just have it on a slice of toast with some cheese and it eat it the same as you would jam.
Various sweet options are endless including topping it on pancakes, French toast or waffles. You can use it as a pastry filling, cake filling or even a cinnamon roll filling. You can pipe some into a cupcake as a filling or add a little to some buttercream. One of my favourite ways to use it is to make mini tartlettes, also a common treat home, with the sauce as a filling. The possibilities are really endless.
How Tart Is It?
So cranberries are very tart and that’s how I like to eat them. This sauce is designed to be tart but generally you are going to be pairing it with other sweet things or other foods that will mute the flavour a little.
If you don’t want it to be super tart however, add 2-4 tbsp of brown sugar or granulated sugar depending on how sweet you’d like it to be.
What To Do with Leftovers
If you don’t use up all of the sauce in one go, you can store it in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I typically freeze my extra sauce and then just let it thaw overnight in the fridge when I want to use it again.
Fresh vs. Frozen Cranberries
I’ve used both fresh and frozen cranberries to make this sauce and honestly don’t notice a difference between either. So just use whatever you can find cheaper at the grocery store. I typically buy a whack of fresh cranberries at the end of the season for super cheap and then freeze them myself.
Chunky vs. Smooth Cranberry Sauce
I like to eat my cranberry sauce chunky so it’s basically like jam or preserves. If you’d lile the look of some more whole cranberries in the sauce, add a handful towards the end while cooking them on the stove and don’t try and pop them.
I’ve never tried making this smooth but if you did want to try, I recommend blending it up in a food processor. If you want it even smoother, then run it through a strainer. This will reduce the amount you end up with however.
- Once the sauce coats the back of your wooden spoon and has started to thicken a little, it’s done. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
More Holiday Recipes
Today’s song is of course going to be a Christmas song. This song is a little different and darker but it’s so beautiful and his voice just melts me. Here’s Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis by Tom Waits. Happy baking!! **Disclaimer: May contain inappropriate language for children. Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 wooden spoon (or any spoon if don't have one)
- 4 cups (440g) cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (105g) brown sugar, packed (add 2-4 tbsp (30-60g) if you want it a bit sweeter, this will be tart)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
- Zest from 1/2 an orange (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, add all your ingredients except the vanilla extract. Place over medium heat, stirring occasinoally until the mixture starts to gently boil.
- Turn the heat to low and simmer gently, while stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. If you like, you can smush any cranberries that haven't broken down against the side of the pot with your spoon.
- You'll know it's done when the sauce starts to thicken and it covers the back of your wooden spoon. Don't overcook it, it will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Leave to cool and then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.