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Nov 13, 2007 10:58 AM

Looking for exciting Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry sauce - it's one of those expected sides at any traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Often unremarkable, unloved. I'd like make a cranberry sauce this year that is exciting instead of just expected. Do you have any great recipes to share? I'm willing to try just about anything as long as it can compliment a turkey!

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  1. I made one that was surprisingly simple but REALLY tasty, we had none left.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rockandroller1

      I made this one yesterday and it is chilling out in my fridge right now. We're pretty big bourbon fans around here, so it was too good to pass up. I used Knob Creek Bourbon and the first taste was fantastic. Not too sweet, and just enough of the Bourbon essence. However there are so many great recipes posted here, I think I'm going to make several for leftover turkey!

      1. re: ExercisetoEat

        If you're a bourbon fan - do the bourbon cream gravy on this site. I'm making but giving our proximity - I'll be using Crown Royal Reserve rather than Knob Creek.

        1. re: ExercisetoEat

          I made mine today, with Maker's is chilling now. However, two comments: first: when I added the sugar it just seemed like too much for a pound of cranberries, so I added the rest of a second 12 oz bag of cranberries (the regular recipe for cranberry sauce on the package calls for a cup of sugar per bag, so this was in line with that). But then, I don't like my sauce too sweet....Even with that, I was surprised at how much the volume reduced when baking: two bags of cranberries, and I ended up with just about a cup or maybe cup and a half of sauce! (and this was after cooking slightly less than the recommended time). It does taste good however....

          And of course, since the Bourbon is added at the end the alcohol is still there. One of my guests doesn't drink alcohol, so will be making something else as well....

          1. re: susancinsf

            I added the rest of the second 12 oz bag of cranberries as well, and the resulting sauce is fairly tart, but I like it that way. I will see how it has melded after a day in the fridge, but I was tempted to stir in a small amount of couintreau (sp?) for just a little bit of an orange flavor.

        2. re: rockandroller1

          Wow, this sounds so good, I am making it right now (I had extra cranberries and, yes, there is always Knob Creek in the cabinet).

          I am also trying the one below, as I have a Kumquat tree in my backyard that has to be the most abundant kumquat tree in America. I will let you all know how it turns out.

          1. re: rockandroller1

            Thanks for this rockandroller1. It was fantastic! I made sure that my cinnamon was fresh and followed the recipe. No problems. It was especially good on the turkey sandwich I had for lunch today....

          2. My Asian family doesn't particularly like American food, so I "orientalize" the flavors by adding chopped ginger, a chopped serrano, cider vinegar and a little cinnamon to the pot when I boil down the cranberries. It's usually pretty well-received.

            1. I loved this (different) cranberry sauce from epicurious:


              1. We always had three kinds of cranberries at Thanksgiving.

                1. Brandied Cranberries
                2. Jellied Cranberries from the can, served whole with the ridges of the can
                3. Pearl Onion & Cranberry Conserve

                NUMBER ONE: The brandied cranberries recipe came from a friend of my mother's YEARS AND YEARS AGO, and we have had it for as long as I can remember (I'm 49). The friend is now 86, and I'm having Thanskgiving dinner with her this year as the rest of my family has passed away or moved away. Of course she's making brandied cranberries. I've given this recipe to lots of people, and also have taken them to potluck T-Day dinners over the years (when I wasn't living near home) and people just flip over it. Always gets a lot of compliments and is easy to make. Absolutely delicious.

                Here's the recipe at


                My 86 year old friend (she was my mother's best friend) says don't double the recipe, but make 2 batches instead. I think this is because two batches would get too juicy.

                NUMBER TWO: How could you have Thanksgiving dinner without jellied cranberry? Happy childhood memories, plus they are great on turkey sandwiches at the end of the day. (Sliced breast, jellied cranberry, mayonnaise - starts with an H, one large crispy iceberg lettuce leaf, nice white sandwich bread - starts with a P, and a lot of salt and pepper. Turkey sandwiches may be the best part of the day, but I guess that's probably another whole discussion.


                NUMBER THREE: This was first published in Bon Appetit magazine in the early 1990's. How do I know this? I am looking at the stained photocopied page that is in my recipe box (last part of the year clipped off. Was '92 or '93). It's FABULOUS!! Is a bit of work, however. My sister in law made it every year until she and my brother moved away. I could eat a dinner plate of just this. I found the recipe online at, but it doesn't mention Bon Appetit magazine. However, it's EXACTLY THE SAME - I checked it against the recipe in my box. I can't go on enough about how good this is.


                Also, there's a NUMBER FOUR: Susan Stamberg, who was the co-host of NPR's All Things Considered for years, gave out her mother-in-law's recipe for cranberry relish each year. (I remember you had to write fast to get all five ingredients and directions from the radio - pre-internet days.) BE SURE TO MAKE THIS - it takes about three minutes to put together and is just fantastic. Sounds so weird, but is so good. I first made this when I was in college in the 70s (after I heard the recipe on NPR.) Great stuff!! (I just made some on Sunday.



                There's my long-winded cranberry story.

                Best wishes to you for a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

                8 Replies
                1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                  The recipe at for the brandied cranberries didn't have an oven temperature, so I did it at 350 and it ended up with an off, burnt flavor. I also used a Le Creuset pot with a lid, which might have stayed too hot. What was the original oven temp? TIA.

                  1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                    Do you bake the brandied cranberries open or covered? Thanks!

                    1. re: Diane in Bexley

                      This is for heidipie and Diane_in_Bexley:

                      You're right - that link didn't have very many instructions - sorry.

                      Here's my mother's recipe (written by her on an old stained recipe card):

                      Brandied Cranberries

                      1 package fresh cranberries
                      2 cups sugar
                      1/2 cup brandy

                      Wash cranberries - spread on 8 x 8 x 2 glass Pyrex baking dish, cover with sugar, add brandy and mix well.

                      Cover tightly with foil.

                      Bake at 350 F 30 to 45 minutes until berries pop.

                      Store in refrigerator.


                      BE SURE to keep an eye on them so they don't scorch (as heidipie discovered). I add a little more brandy afterwards but of course that's up to individual taste. (By a little more I mean 1 or 2 tablespoons after they've cooled.) Also, they sometimes can be pretty juicy/syrupy. If so, I just drain the excess juice off before adding the extra tablespoon or so of brandy. Keep in the refrigerator.

                      1. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                        Thanks Gloria! Will be making these tomorrow - Happy Thanksgiving!

                        1. re: Diane in Bexley

                          Gloria, thanks so much! The brandied cranberries were a big hit on Turkey Day. I used 2 packages of cranberries and had about 2 cups leftover. I found a brundt cake recipe for cranberries, apples and walnuts which I made on Sunday and froze for the office later on in December. If it tastes as good as it smelled, should be great. Hope you had a nice holiday.

                        2. re: GloriaSwansonsTVdinner

                          I make a version of this sauce with cranberries, sugar, and bourbon. It's very tasty!

                          But I wonder, after reading the lovely orange-influenced recipes in this thread, if I could use Grand Marnier instead of bourbon. (It would save a trip to the liquor store - I don't have any bourbon in the house.) What do y'all think - would Grand Marnier be too sweet with cranberries?


                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            I only make mine with Grand Marnier, also some orange juice and orange peel. It's great! I put in a half cup at the end.

                      2. Use the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag, for whole berry sauce, but instead of using water, use cabernet.

                        Insanely good.