My First Cranberry Sauce... You Be The Judge.

I was recently surprised to find that cranberries can be found in my birthplace of France. I always heard my Mom tell me that there were no cranberries there and I always believed her. But then again, she's of the mindset that if she hasn't eaten something, then it must not exist. Well, as a famous American cranberry eater once said, "trust but verify", I decided to check it out for myself. Mom, you are wrong. Seeing how we argue a lot, you can't imagine how nice that makes me feel to softly spit out that little word to her, WRONG. It turns out that they're called canneberge (sometimes called airelles des marais). The berry is smaller and more tart than the traditional cranberry we find here. But none the less, they are cranberries, thank you very much.

So along comes this little Frenchman who has never made cranberry sauce in his life before and is going to try his hand at making something that, let's face it, Americans are the best at, the making of cranberry sauce. This little guy is ballzy! After all, it is Thanksgiving and I wanted to make a couple of dishes that are traditionally American for this most American of holidays. And you can thank me for talking my Mom out of making Escargots as an appetizer. Can you believe that? What Pilgrims was she thinking about?

And so, I have gone out on a limb and the limb did not break. With that said, I would like to share my recipe for Cranberry Sauce with a little Francais tossed in. You be the judge and let me know if I should have simply fallen off the tree or if I created a keeper.

For this experiment, you will need:

4 cups fresh cranberries, cleaned and washed
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup fresh cut oranges
1/2 cup Triple Sec (orange liquor)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon raspberry preserves
2/3 cup water

Begin by tasting one of these little berries. Yes, do as I did and then wonder how the heck can something so tart and bitter become so good. Just kidding, you don't have to do that.  Start by adding the water,cranberries, and pomegranate juice into a sauce pan and bring to a light boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and add the Triple Sec, stir, and then add the sugar. Continue to slow boil for about 15 minutes, as you will notice the berries begin to break down. Continue to cook on low, stirring occasionally. If you need to, you may add 1/4 cup more water, but I don't think you'll need to. After cranberries have been slow cooking for about 30 minutes, add the orange pieces, the orange zest, the marmalade, and the raspberry preserves, and stir to blend all ingredients together. Continue to slow cook for about 15 more minutes, stirring every few minutes. Taste for sweetness. If it's still too tart for your liking, you may either add 1/4 cup more of the Triple Sec or another couple of tablespoons of sugar. I used an additional shot of Triple Sec, but it never made it to the sauce, if you get my drift. Anyway, I digress. Shut the heat off, cover, and let it sit until cooled. Transfer to a storage container and refridgerate until Thanksgiving.

There you have it, my version of Cranberry Sauce. I hope you like it. I did test it out by the way. I'm happy to report that it was pretty darned good! My second contribution to Thanksgiving Dinner this Thursday is going to be another creation of mine that I've never done before and that will be my Apple Calvados Cheese Cake, topped with caramelized sliced apples. This will be posted on Wednesday, so look for it please. Wishing you all a most wonderful Thanksgiving Day.


  1. Mmmmm...Nick, that sounds absolutely incredible. I will have to say, being of french descent (ha ha), I have never eaten cranberries due to my mother not knowing they exist! I actually had my first taste of homemade cranberries from my son's montessori class on Friday. They prepared a Thanksgiving feast all themselves, mind you, they are 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders! I will have to say, they were pretty darn good, much better than what I envisioned coming out of the can. So, now, I cannot WAIT to try this wonderful recipe from you...with a twist of francais! Beautiful!!!! You can be sure I will let you know what I think :)


  2. Great combination of fruit flavors in this cranberry. The pomegranates really make it a festive sauce!

  3. Wow sounds delicious. When you say pomegranate, is the juice?

  4. yes sounds delicious.How long can we store this?

  5. Oh this should be lovely - cranberries, pomegranate, triple sec! We're off to a good start!

  6. You can store this cranberry sauce in the fridge for a good week, I would imagine. As far as freezing it, I would check online and see how long it could be stored (and any precautions needed to be taken).

  7. Yum, I'm inspired by the addition of the pomegranate juice. I may add a bunch of fresh pom seeds in this year's cranberry sauce, as I'm already sprinkling them over EVERYTHING these days. Cheers to your beautiful cranberry sauce!

  8. mmmh. This looks fantastic. I tried to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, but it failed..