Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine and Orange
This is my mother’s recipe for Fresh Cranberry Sauce. She made it once a year on Christmas Eve, ready to be served up on Christmas Day as an accompaniment to the turkey. I have no idea where she originally found the recipe but it was hand-written on a scrap of paper in the tattered recipe file that I inherited from her so I think it is one that she got from somewhere else rather than made up herself.
Why bother making Cranberry Sauce?
There are lots of jars of very good quality Cranberry Sauce which are available all year around and practically fill the sauce shelf in the supermarket in the run-up to Christmas. So why would you bother to make your own? These are the reasons why I make it – hopefully they will encourage you to give it a try!
It smells of Christmas
For me, Christmas smells of this Cranberry Sauce. Whenever I make it, I am transported back to my childhood and to Christmas Eve. There is something about the fruity tang of the cranberries, combined with white wine, orange and cinnamon that captures the Christmas spirit for me. If you make it, take a big old sniff when you are cooking the cranberries and tell me that I am wrong! Even if you do not have any childhood memories associated with it, making this sauce is a pretty good way to get into the Christmas cooking vibe.
It is not just for turkey (or, in fact, for Christmas)
Cranberry Sauce is the traditional accompaniment to Christmas turkey. However, as someone who cooks a Christmas dinner that has to meet a whole range of dietary choices, I know that it goes pretty well with other things too. I serve both turkey and a vegetarian option, usually some kind of pie, and the Cranberry Sauce goes brilliantly with both. Although my mother made this sauce only for Christmas and never at any other time, I make it fairly often during the winter. It is a staple of Sunday lunch and, as you will see below, any left over sauce can be used as the basis of lots of other dishes.
It is really easy to make and can be made in advance
Making this sauce is really easy. It has only a few ingredients and is very quick to make. You can serve it hot but I think it is better if you allow it cool and thicken and let the flavours develop. Therefore, I generally make it a day in advance which is great if you are preparing a big celebration meal as it is one less thing to do on the day.
It is really versatile and can be used as the basis for lots of other recipes
When I make this Cranberry Sauce, I generally leave the cranberries whole in the finished sauce. However, I know that some people find this a bit off-putting as they are used to sauces like this being smooth. If you prefer it that way, you can blend the sauce so that you get jelly with flecks of cranberry which is more like shop-bought versions.
If you have any Cranberry Sauce left over after your big meal, it will keep in the fridge for several days and goes very well with cold meats and vegetarian pies. It is also a brilliant ingredient that can be used to make a number of other recipes including Cranberry Ice Cream, Cranberry Pavlova or Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. I will be posting recipes for all of these on the blog in the next few weeks so watch this space!
Recipe for Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine and OrangePrint
This easy make-ahead Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine, Orange and Cinnamon is the taste of Christmas!
- Zest of one orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 170 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 100 ml water
- 225 g fresh cranberries
- Grate the orange zest into a small pan.
- Add the cinnamon stick, sugar, wine and water. Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the cranberries.
- Bring to the boil then simmer very gently for eight minutes until the fruit is tender and most of the berries have burst.
- According to taste, you can either leave the cranberries intact or blend the sauce with a hand blender or food processor so that it is smooth.
- Cover and set aside to cool until ready to serve. The mixture will thicken as it cools and the flavours will develop nicely.
The Cranberry Sauce will keep in the fridge for two to three days.
Keywords: Cranberry Sauce, cranberries, Christmas