It’s time to make your homemade cranberry sauce the centrepiece of your roast dinner! Adding just a few spices will really take your cranberry sauce to the next level.
A roast dinner ain’t complete without a cranberry sauce – and that’s a fact. Having said that, I do feel as though sometimes it seeps into the background a little. Like, there’s so many powerful dishes at the table, little old cranberry sauce barely gets a look in. It’s kinda just there because it has to be. Well, today I took one step to change that.
The first thing you’ve gotta make sure when serving up cranberry sauce is that it’s homemade. It’s SO easy to make cranberry sauce and the difference between homemade and premade is crazy.
To make a really basic cranberry sauce, you only need 3 ingredients:
And that’s it! Of course it’s best to add a few more goodies, which we’ll talk about in a sec, but for a basic cranberry it’s just that trio of ingredients.
How to make Cranberry Sauce
- Add all ingredients into a suitably sized saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and stir to combine.
- Reduce to a simmer until cranberries pop and the sauce thickens.
- Grab a spoon and tuck in!
Okay, let’s talk spice.
What spices to add to Cranberry Sauce?
There’s quite a few spices that work nicely with cranberry sauce, but here’s my spices of choice:
- Cayenne Pepper
Cinnamon works so perfectly with the sweetness of the sauce, nutmeg adds a nice bit of festivity and cayenne pepper injects a good bit of heat. Other spices that work great with cranberry sauce is cloves and ginger.
How do I thicken cranberry sauce?
Cranberries have a lot of natural pectin, so when they burst and mould with the sugar, the sauce will naturally thicken. No need whatsoever for cornflour, gelatin or things like that.
Can I use frozen cranberries?
Yup, it may just take a little while longer for them to burst and form a sauce.
What juice to use in cranberry sauce?
The classic option is orange juice. I tend to use a 50/50 ratio of orange juice and either water or another juice such as pomegranate or cranberry. I find that using full orange juice turns it too ‘orangey’. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just not to my taste buds. Each to their own!
How long does cranberry sauce keep?
As always I’m not the best person to ask this question, because for me it’s good until it grows legs and stalking walking out the fridge. But it’ll definitely keep for a week if covered and left in the fridge.
What to do with leftover cranberry sauce?
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How to make Spiced Cranberry Sauce (Full Recipe & Video)
It's time to make your homemade cranberry sauce the centrepiece of your roast dinner! Adding just a few spices will really take your cranberry sauce to the next level
- 12oz / 350g Fresh Cranberries (see notes)
- 1/2 cup / 100g Brown Sugar (see notes)
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Fresh Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Water or more juice (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper, or to taste (see notes)
- squeeze of Lime Juice
- Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Simmer over medium heat until the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens. Taste for seasoning/sweetness/spice and adjust accordingly.
Watch how to make it!
Tips for the perfect Spiced Cranberry Sauce
a) Can I use frozen cranberries? - You absolutely can, it may just take a few more minutes for them to pop and form a sauce.
b) How sweet should a cranberry sauce be? - It's completely down to preference. Using 1/2 a cup in the recipe will actually give you quite a tart cranberry sauce, which I prefer. But feel free to adjust to your sweet tooth as necessary.
c) What juice can I use? - I find using all orange juice results in it being a little overpowering, so I tend to use half orange juice and half either water, cranberry juice or pomegranate juice.
d) How spicy will this be? - I love spice, and especially in cranberry sauce. So I actually add a little more than 1/4 tsp. 1/4 tsp will give a good amount of heat, which actually will reduce as the sauce cools down. But if you are at all hesitant please only start with a pinch and work your way up. It's MUCH easier to increase the spice than take it out.
e) How long will this keep? - First of all, definitely make this ahead of time. No need to take up space when trying to juggle the rest of your roast dinner festivities. I'm quite liberal when it comes to leaving this in the fridge, so unless it grows legs and walks out the fridge, I'm gonna eat it. But it will definitely keep for a week if covered up.
f) Calories - Based on a division of 8 people and using 1/2 orange juice and 1/2 water.
For another classic roast dinner sauce, check out my homemade Bread Sauce!