Cranberry sauce is one of those things most people buy in jars, ready-made to serve alongside the turkey. But it's actually very easy to make and a very useful sauce to have around the house.
I find the store-bought versions rather bland. Full of sugar and cranberries, of course, but without the least hint of spice or mystery. Home-made sauce, on the other hand, can be what you want it to be. I like hints of orange and cinnamon in mine, maybe a pinch of allspice and - most importantly - a generous quantity of port.
The sauce you then get complements the Christmas turkey in a wonderful way, but it also scales new heights when it turns up on Boxing Day alongside the glazed ham!
Like many home-made condiments, this sauce is all about experimentation. So start with the recipe below and see what you like ... it's still an easy sauce to produce!
This is a very adaptable recipe, since it really depends on what taste you like. So here are a few tips to get you started:
The most basic recipe for cranberry sauce calls for nothing more than cranberries, water and sugar in a ratio of 2:2:1.
So for 250g of cranberries use 250ml of water and 125g of sugar.
Pop them all into a pan, cover and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer gently, stirring every so often, until the cranberries burst - this can take from 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool ... and that's it for the most simple of sauces.
But, of course, you don't need to stick with just the basics.
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Turning your basic sauce mix into something a little spicier or more enticing isn't any more difficult than making the original cranberry sauce.
For a sauce with a bit more spice, try this recipe:
One of the things I like about sauces is that they're very easy and very enjoyable to play with. Once you have your basics you can add ingredients or leave them out and create something unique and tasty to fit your dinner. Here are a few ideas of how you could adjust a very basic cranberry sauce:
Or check out these very Chrismassy recipes: