As the festive season is fast approaching my thoughts inevitably turn to food (ok, that’s not specifically connected to this time of the year, but that’s a different story) and what to cook, bake and generally prepare. There are things I can do without, like Brussels sprouts (sorry, not a fan) and others I will happily negotiate on, like goose instead of turkey. Then there are things that are a must for me like my grandmother’s biscuits and cranberry sauce. Before moving to this country I didn’t even know cranberry sauce existed, but ever since my first Christmas here, I wouldn’t have Christmas dinner without it. Making my own version adds something special to the table and even if it doesn’t get finished, it will keep for weeks in the fridge – just go through it with a fork to loosen it up before serving from cold.


  • 400g fresh cranberries
  • 200g caster sugar (feel free to add more if it’s too sharp)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 large orange – using the zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 100ml ruby port
  • 20ml water


Here's how it's done...

  • 1

    Put all the ingredients into a large pot and let them bubble until the berries start to pop.

  • 2

    Give it a stir every now and again. All this will take about 10 minutes.

  • 3

    All this will take about 10 minutes. Give it a good, fast stir at this stage to crush the cranberries and taste it (HOT!!!) to check whether you might need some more sugar.

  • 4

    Transfer to a bowl to cool. Or – if you want to give jars as presents – straight into the prepared jam jars (washed in soapy water, rinsed and dried off at 140C in the oven).

  • 5

    The sauce will look more runny than expected, but will solidify once cooled.


By Carole Poirot on 04.12.17

Guest Contributor

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