Monday, November 22, 2010

Quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce

This homemade French cranberry sauce with red wine uses 5 ingredients and takes about 15 minutes. It can’t get any easier than that. One taste and I guarantee you’ll never ever serve the canned stuff again.

I’ve been making this cranberry sauce for over thirty years and it’s by far the best I’ve ever tasted. A couple of years ago I posted a similar recipe along with ways to use cranberry sauce leftovers, so you may remember that it’s a family favorite. The citrus gives it a very fresh flavor that distinguishes it from the canned stuff. Normally I use navel oranges, but this year I couldn’t resist the cute mesh bag filled with Florida tangerines that I saw in the market. Be sure to zest the tangerines before you squeeze them.


The cinnamon dust is a new idea. Using a microplane rasp style grater, grate a little “dust” from a whole cinnamon stick over the sauce. A big fat stick works best. The dust doesn't actually show on the sauce, but it gives it a little last minute oopmh of cinnamon flavor.


I really love the subtle depth of flavor that red wine brings to this, but feel free to substitute water if you don’t want to use wine. How much sugar to use is up to you. For a sweet cranberry sauce, use up to one and a half cups of sugar. If you prefer a more tart sauce, three quarters of a cup or a little more will be perfect.

This cranberry sauce can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for several days, leaving plenty of time on turkey day to roast the big bird and put together your side dishes.

The smell coming from your kitchen will be very alluring as the cinnamon and citrus simmer on the stove with the wine and cranberries. Perhaps this cranberry sauce with its citrusy touch will become a family favorite for you too.



Homemade French Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine
A citrus twist on a classic 

1 (12 ounce) package of fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw if they're frozen)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup dry red wine, such as a Merlot or Syrah
¾ cup to 1 ½ cups sugar, or to taste
2 tangerines or navel oranges

Put the cranberries in a sauce pan with the cinnamon stick, red wine, and sugar. Zest the tangerines and set aside half of the zest for a garnish. (If you are making the sauce in advance, wait until the last minute to zest the second tangerine, otherwise the zest will dry out.) Add the remaining zest and the juice of one of the tangerines (squeeze juice through a strainer to eliminate the seeds) to the cranberry mixture.

Stir the cranberry mixture well and bring to a boil.  Partially cover the saucepan and simmer about 15 minutes, until the cranberries have burst. Remove from the heat, let cool, and discard the cinnamon stick. The sauce will firm up as it cools. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to five days.

Before serving, using a microplane rasp style grater, grate a little cinnamon “dust” from a cinnamon stick over the cranberry sauce and garnish with the remaining citrus zest. This recipe serves 6 to 8 and is easily doubled or tripled. Serve the sauce at room temperature.

65 comments:

  1. I have never made it using red wine. I can imagine it is great.

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  2. Your home made Cranberry sauce is delicious! With such a easy way I think no one will love to try the canned ones and the subtle flavors of
    cinnamon you can go wrong! The use of cinnamon dust and tangerines I think make super special! Sam it's awesome!

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  3. Sam, this sounds like a marvelous twist on cranberry sauce. I love the citrus addition but I'm especially anxious to give that bit of freshly planed cinnamon a try. Your photos today are lovely and have the promise of great tastes to come. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  4. That looks really delicious and easy too. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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  5. Thanks for the recipe Sam. I was just going to start looking for a cranberry sauce recipe.

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  6. I made two this year.. one with rosemary and orange. Was not overly happy with the second.
    Wish I had seen your recipe first, I would have made my second with wine!
    Lovely recipe, Sam!

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  7. I love my Microplane graters! That cranberry sauce looks beautiful and must be wonderfully spicy.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. Sam I love cinnamon in this.. Your photos are so nice too~

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  9. Sounds great, Sam! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. :-)

    XO,

    Sheila

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  10. Whole berry cranberry sauce is my favorite, especially with the touch of citrus. I've never added wine before so this will be a new treat for us.

    Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family, Sam.

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  11. You definitely have a hit with the grated cinnamon - that's the best idea. It is so pretty - I like the idea of the sweet tangerines - I do love my tangerines. I agree that cranberry sauce is so easy, it keeps, it's pretty - the canned stuff has no allure. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  12. I have never liked cranberry sauce (homemade or canned) but this recipe looks really good. I think my tastes might be changing -- maybe I'll give it a try this year!

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  13. I'll be making that cranberry sauce this year! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. That sounds delicious and your photos are simply gorgeous!

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  15. Sam - this reminds me of a favorite citrus cranberry sauce I used to make, but the secret ingredient was Cointreau. My German aunt loved it! Making the sauce is one of my favorite holiday jobs - each year I try to find a recipe with a new twist. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Sam!

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  16. Pork chicken and turkey can only taste better adorned with this delicious condiment!!

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  17. This sounds wonderful & easy!!! Not to mention it is a beautiful dish! I hope you and your family have a wonderful & very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  18. I really love your citrusy twist on cranberry sauce! Adding red wine is a great idea too...delicious!

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  19. Happy Thanksgiving, Sam.

    I will use your recipe to make my cranberry sauce.

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  20. Whoa, Sam! These photos are a knockout! Seriously, I'm thinking that you have outdone yourself with food shots. So pretty! As for the recipe, thank you for doing a service for so many people by showing them that you don't need that canned stuff. I just made cranberry sauce, but wish I had seen this to add wine. Who knew? I learned something new. Happy Thanksgiving my Blogger Friend!

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  21. Sam - The photos of your cranberry sauce are absolutely beautiful! I love that this recipe includes red wine. I really wish that I wasn't the only one in the family who enjoys cranberries. Do you think I should consider trading some of my family members in? LOL!

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  22. beautiful pictures! I am hungry for thanksgiving dinner now!

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  23. Hi Sam- your sauce looks superbe!
    my very favourite sandwich is
    turkey avocado & cranberry sauce.
    Can't wait to try this recipe!
    xx
    Dianne

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  24. Wow, your homemade cranberry sauce looks wonderful...love the idea of wine and the citrus in it...absolutely perfect!

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  25. There isn't anything better than homemade cranberry sauce. I have never used wine in one but am thinking it would be wonderful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  26. I am about to embark on making some of this for hubby and his family!

    Love the photo! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  27. This is going to be a busy week ever! I've never tried making this before. I wonder if I can use dried cranberry on this recipe! I think this is the one old sauce recipe everyone kept using over & over again on every thanksgiving.
    Hope you're going to have a fabulous thanksgiving with your family, Sam. Enjoy!
    Blessings, Kristy

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  28. This is the same sauce I make!!

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  29. yum! I love homemade cranberry sauce and usually use the recipe on the package out of laziness; but yours sounds great and it is just as easy!

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  30. Beautiful and delicious looking cranberry sauce, love the addition of citrus zest!

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  31. You can't beat a gorgeous homemade sauce. Wishing you the best holiday!

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  32. Oh how I love the color of cranberries! Just gorgeous!

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  33. Rats! I already made mine -- I wish I'd known about the red wine! Next year!

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  34. Another fabulous cranberry recipe! I may give this a try when I cook my turkey for hubby and me, or maybe I'll bring it to my sister's home on Thanksgiving! Hmmm, decisions, decisions, decisions!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  35. Today's cranberry sauce preparation day in my kitchen. I, too, have a recipe that I've done for years. I'm thinking about making a few adjustments after reading your delicious sounding recipe! As always, your photos make me want to sit down at your table and, well, eat!!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  36. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving Sam. Your cranberry sauce will be the jewel on the table.

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  37. I make mine with dried cherries mixed in but this version sounds fantastic too. Maybe I'll try some red wine ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  38. Isn't that microplane rasp style grater the best thing ever. You sauce is very similar to mine, but next time I will add the zest; thank you for sharing this.
    Happy Thanksgiving

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  39. I love homemade cranberry sauce, and I love how the berries here are still intact. Chunky cranberry sauce is my favorite!

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  40. looks wonderful love the way u use citrus :-) thanks for the kind support on the app, have a great thanksgiving lovely Sam

    hugs Rebecca

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  41. I come from a family of cranberry lovers and I do love to use orange - it really makes the flavors pop! I have never tried the cinnamon though - it sounds delicious. Thanks for the great idea & I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving:)

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  42. Looks very tasty. Will be a great side to any turkey dinner. Thank you for sharing.

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  43. I love fruity sauce's but we dont find cranberries here!
    I loveee microplane and have a mini grater for the cinnamon , 2 different kinds infact , both are gorgeous , one even stores the ''dust'' , in a little box!!
    Oh as i say dust , i feel like am saying gold dust!!

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  44. I love fruity sauce's but we dont find cranberries here!
    I loveee microplane and have a mini grater for the cinnamon , 2 different kinds infact , both are gorgeous , one even stores the ''dust'' , in a little box!!
    Oh as i say dust , i feel like am saying gold dust!!

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  45. Looks delish!

    Just stopping by to wish you and your family a happy and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

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  46. It sounds delicious and coupled with simplicity, extra special!

    Sam, we hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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  47. My family actualy prefers the canned jellied cranberry sauce, Sam! I know--very sad--and I can't wean them from it! I make a special cranberry sauce every year but sadly usually I am the only one who will eat it.

    I hope you and your family have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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  48. Sam,
    This homemade cranberry sauce looks fabulous! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  49. gorgeous photos!
    happy turkey day Sam.
    I am making this as we speak!

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  50. What a wonderful idea to add red wine, thank you for the recipe!

    My sauce is also really simple and fast:
    12 oz. fresh cranberries
    sugar to taste (I start out with 1 cup, adding maple sirup to taste, once the berries are cooked)
    zest and juice of one Valencia orange
    cinnamon stick
    star anise

    I start out with half the cranberries, the sugar and the orange juice, the cinnamon stick and 2 star anise, letting it all boil until the cranberries pop, then adding the other half of the berries, continue cooking the sauce until all the berries are popped. We like the little tartness that the barely popped berries add to the sweetness of the longer cooked ones.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
    Merisi

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  51. What a gorgeous cranberry sauce. I add orange to mine. I love the addition of red wine. Delicious! I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving:)

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  52. Sam, what a great way to prepare cranberries! i've never thought to add some wine, but that sure brings it up to a higher level of tastiness! I'd devour it if I could! I think I've found another keeper! Have an incredible Thanksgiving Sam! I thought of you when we stopped at the top of the mountain on I-40 for a pit stop and the temperatures had dropped quite a bit; reminding me of why we love NC mountains so much for an escape in the summer! I love it when the water runs down the rocks and the ice forms from the cold air! So beautiful!

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  53. Although I've never made a cranberry sauce...I can only imagine how the red wine could enhance an already flavourful fruit ;o)
    Sam, that first photo has captured a somewhat Victorian style moment...just beautiful.

    Happy holiday celebrations.

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  54. Sam, dropping backy by to wish you the Happiest of Thanksgivings!

    Much love to you today and always...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  55. happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  56. Awesome! Every Thanksgiving table has to include a good cranberry sauce. A homemade sauce is a stunning addition to the food spread. Also, it's great on turkey sandwiches the next day :-)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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  57. Wow, that looks amazing, Sam! I like using a microplane for cinnamon too. And nutmeg. And ginger. Add....errr....you get the idea.

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  58. This recipe looks so good! Wish I found it before Thanksgiving...but there's always Christmas dinner! Thank you for sharing! You have a new follower!

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  59. Would you believe it's late July, 97 degrees, and I'm thinking Thanksgiving?! I've been hosting it for the past 25 years, so really plan what I'm going to do all year long. I think your cranberries will hit the table this year, well...not literally, you know what I mean. ;-) I've made them with bourbon and Grand Marnier, but never wine, so why not? They look beautiful.

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  60. Here it is nearly Thanksgiving 2011, and I saw your post this morning with a link to this recipe. It looks wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    FlowerLady

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  61. Love fresh cranberries with orange added. I know you're going to have a lovely meal ~ enjoy your day!

    xo
    Pat

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  62. What a beautiful photograph of a really interesting sounding version! I happen to have 2 tangerines sitting in a fruit bowl right now.

    The final dusting of microplaned cinnamon is an interesting touch, as well as the wine. Thanks for telling us about it.

    Someone recently sent me some Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey's catalog. What a difference between what I had been using!! Amazing taste!

    Happy Turkey Day, Sam
    fondly,
    Rett

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  63. As I was doing the online recipe search for a super special cranberry sauce, this one stood out. It was the red wine that got my attention with this recipe. I just whipped up a batch and I am now regretting that I made it several days in advance of the holiday...because I don't think that I will be able to restrain myself from eating this, all alone in my kitchen, right out of the bowl, at every possible opportunity. It's positively delicious!

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  64. How absolutely brilliant! I never thought of using red wine.

    I have printed out your homemade cranberry sauce recipe. I'm going to give it a try for today's Thanksgiving meal.

    A round of applause to you from everyone here!

    Lamond

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Sam