Christmas, Uncategorized
Comments 10

Cranberry Sauce (the way my Nan makes it)

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Mixed Spice

This is the recipe. It’s the only one you’ll ever need, and you can keep it in the back of your brain for later, you hardly even need to write it down. The reason I know this is because last week, whilst I was dancing round Sainsbury’s looking for Christmas recipe inspiration, I saw a packet of fresh cranberries and decided that I needed to make cranberry sauce that very day.

So I called my Nan, she gave me the recipe, and I remembered it (and adjusted it slightly to fit the amount of cranberries per bag in Sainsbury’s).

I’ve not written it down since either, it’s just still in my head. How cool is that? It’s never happened before. Is that Christmas magic or is that Christmas magic?

Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Mixed Spice

Anyway, I’ll stop showing off about my new found memory skills for one moment so that I can tell you why you need to make this. Christmas dinner is hard work. Yes, it’s basically just a big roast, but it’s for like 8 people and they all want lots of extra meaty bits and their veg done a certain way and there’s only one oven with only so much room and oh the stress of it all, am I right?

Do you detect a certain harried tone in that super-long sentence there? If yes, you’re very observant, this year I will be in charge of Christmas dinner for the first time. Pray for me.

You spend all that time, all that care and love and attention, on a festive feast. You can’t just dollop some Ocean Spray cranberry sauce from a jar on there and have done with it, OK? It deserves better than that. It really does.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest and Mixed Spice

I’d say this takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. 20 minutes, one saucepan, a wooden spoon I guess, and a jar. Is that too much to ask? I feel like it isn’t, especially when this can be done so far in advance.

Go on, just make it now, tuck it in the back of the fridge, and thank me on Christmas Day.

Makes 1 jar (plus a cheeky couple tablespoons for you to sneak)

300g fresh cranberries
100g caster sugar
1 large orange (you’re gonna use the zest and the juice)
1 large pinch of mixed spice

  1. Grate all the zest from the orange (being careful not to get the bitter pith, don’t tell me you’ve not heard that one before) and set it aside.
  2. Put the cranberries, sugar, mixed spice and juice from the orange in a saucepan and cook on a low heat until it looks all jammy and delicious (I’ve put a picture of it finished in the pan up above so that you can see what you’re looking for).
  3. Stir in the orange zest, taste it to make sure it’s delicious, then spoon it into a sterilised jar. Disclaimer: I didn’t sterilise my jar, I half-arsedly washed it, but I’m keeping mine in the fridge and eating it quickly so I’m pretty sure it’ll all be fine.

Brainwave – this would be a really cute gift for somebody if you labelled it up and put a little ribbon on it. Just a thought.

Do you always have cranberry sauce at the table? Am I way off base here in even giving you this recipe? Talk to me about your Christmas condiments in the comments!

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  1. Love cranberry sauce! We also always have cider apple butter which I’ve never ever seen anywhere else, and my grandma makes it. I really must learn how she does it as I have no idea, but it’s literally one of the best condiments in the world! Like a spiced apple jam that tends to be quite set. I think some people call it “black butter” but I don’t know why as its a light brown colour! Alice xx

  2. vdaltonbanks says

    I LOVE CRANBERRY SAUCE!!! This is literally my favourite thing about Christmas dinner! I think it’s the best Christmas condiment. I love it on everything – I usually buy the fresh M&S one and then use it cold as a spread on boxing day leftover sandwiches. I don’t know why but I’ve never thought about making my own. Going to definitely give this a go!x

    • Ah that’s fantastic I can’t wait to hear how it goes, it really makes a big difference! I *love* it cold on sandwiches too, it is unbeatable.

  3. Annmaree says

    Omg exciting, I need to add this to my MUST MAKE THIS Christmas cooking/baking list! I adore Cranberry Sauce! Yaay!

  4. Good idea to do this in advance. We always do all the food prep on Christmas eve and making cranberry sauce is ALWAYS the last thing on the list and sometimes by the time we reach that stage in the prep, nobody cares anymore and we don’t bother. But it is so much nicer! 🙂

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