I must confess, I only became a fan of cranberry sauce a few years ago by chance. I had watched an episode of Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals where he made these brie parcels and served with a homemade cranberry sauce and I just felt the need to try it. He used port in his one which really gave it a kick, and when I combined it not only with the parcels, but with Turkey, I was SOLD! Now I pretty much can’t have Christmas dinner without it!
The issue I have had here in Italy is that fresh cranberries aren’t that common – or at least I haven’t been able to find them anywhere and cranberry sauce just isn’t a thing. In fact, my friends didn’t really understand the concept of having this jam-like sauce with meat. But I assured them it worked. Fortunately, my sister was visiting from London, so I asked her to bring me some dried cranberries (thank you Chiara and Sainsbury’s for your contribution) and I decided to give making a homemade sauce a go this way.
Now, honestly, it’s one of the easiest sauces I have every made and you really wouldn’t think that the cranberries were dried in the slightly! It takes less than 30 minutes to make and the consistency is amazing. I had thought about adding port or spices, but once I’d slept on it, I decided to keep it as simple as simple can be and I’m so glad I did!
Cranberries themselves can be a bit tart, so the little amount of sugar balances this out pretty well – you don’t want the sauce to be too sweet as it will overpower and be more dessert-like which I don’t think works with the Turkey. By avoiding port, it also makes the dish alcohol free and kid-friendly (mostly).
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 18-20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
1 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 Cup White Sugar
3-4 Tbsp Cold water
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
Add the dried cranberries and water into a saucepan on a medium heat, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for around 5 minutes so the water reduces by half and the cranberries soften.
Add lemon juice and sugar, stir to combine and ensure the sugar has fully dissolved. Leave to simmer for around 7-8 minutes.
Use a stick blender to roughly blend everything, I like to leave some partially whole cranberries.
Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes so most of the water evaporates and you get a jam like consistency.
Taste, and if needed add extra sugar. Remove from the heat and leave to cool – it will become more jelly like it cools.
Store in an airtight container or jam jar until you’re ready to serve.
This sauce should last about a week in an airtight container – if you even have any left over!