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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Posted on December 10th, 2012  |  4 Comments

So we’re a little late for Thanksgiving. Yes, I know. But! We’re just in time for Christmas! Yaya! It’s Christmastime!

For so many years I avoided making this classic dish out of ridiculous uninformed fear. Fear stemming from the idea that cranberry sauce needed 1) jello 2) boatloads of sugar and 3) tasted gross.

Wrong, wrong and wrong. Story of my life.

What I learned about cranberry sauce is that it’s super de duper easy to make. Just bring to a simmer with water and spices and let it reduce down. Chhhaaa!

Sugar ain’t necessary. But I’d add honey, dates, and molasses. You know, ‘al natural sugar.

And check it: 10 minutes flat, you got yo-self a festive side dish loaded with flavor and antioxidants.

It’s the perfect amount of tang and tart alongside a creamy meaty dish. Totally perfect for the holidays :)



Homemade Cranberry Sauce

by The Talking Kitchen

Cook Time: 5-7 minutes


Ingredients (2 cups)

  • 1.5 c. cranberries, frozen or fresh, plus ~10 for topping and texture
  • 1.5 c. filtered water
  • 4 dates, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 orange, zested + 1/2 juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch sea salt


Add the cranberries, water and dates to a medium stock pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, cook for 2-3 minutes.

Turn down to love and add the rest of the ingredients, including half of the orange (juiced). Cook for 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

Add slices of cranberries.

Remove cloves, orange and cinnamon stick before serving.


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4 Responses

  1. Dana says:

    I made this for Christmas :) We all liked the flavor a lot, but mine did not look “set up” like your picture looks. It was more of a cranberry syrup! Is there by chance a difference measurement for water that should be used? I used equal parts cranberry and water like the recipe calls for, but just wondering if that is right! The only difference is that I used additional honey in place of the pomegranate molasses.

    • talkingkadmin says:

      Hmm sorry about the consistency, the only thing I can think of is maybe it needed to be cooked down a bit more, or chilled to get a more thick consistency. Glad you liked the flavor! Hope you had a Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

  2. Louise Newren says:

    I make mine with jello… makes it perfect each time and so easy….I also add mandarin oranges and shredded orange peel…. guess mine is different, but it does set up very well……

  3. Elysia says:

    Just stumbled across ur lovely blog after searching for a sundried tomato aioli recipe.
    This recipe looks yum! I’ve been in a cranberry mood lately. I made GF blueberry scones & was really wishing I’d added cranberries but I was also too hungry to be patient so I threw a handful in a little bowl, added a tsp of butter, pinch of orange zest, dash o’ cinn & spoonful coconut sugar, covered it & microwaved on low power for few mins til berries were soft & juicy then uncovered & cooked another couple mins on low til it was nice & thick. Came out perfect! Whodathunkit?

    Question: What is pomegranate molasses?? BTW if you haven’t already you should check out coconut palm sugar. I’ve used it very successfully in everything I’ve made (raw, cooked, baked). Has a slight caramel flavor. Super delish!

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