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008It’s that time of year!  I love cranberry sauce.  I can eat bowls of that wonderfully tart/sweet/chewy/oranginess that appears this time of the year.  It’s easy and simply put…gorgeous.  This version is a bit different, since it has wedges of Clementines that remain in the finished sauce.  In the above version I chopped the Clementine wedges to make eating easier.  I was presenting this for sampling for a talk I was giving on “Flavors of the Season”.  I sometimes add pink peppercorns, too.  Cranberry Sauce isn’t just a side for Thanksgiving, but really quite wonderful served slightly warm or very cold with good vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge…it’s seriously delicious that way.

Cranberry-Clementine Sauce

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 6 Clementines
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit open (optional-see NOTE)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (2 12-ounce bags)
  • 2-3 tablespoon pink peppercorns (optional)

Run the Clementines under hot water for 2 minutes to remove the wax.  Leaving the skin on, cut them into sections and remove the seeds; I cut them into sixths.

Combine the water, Clementines and whole spices; bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.  You should be able to just pierce the skin with the tip of a paring knife.  Add the sugar and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Add the cranberries to the mixture; cook for another 10 minutes; stirring 2 or 3 times.  Not all of the cranberries will pop; do not overcook.

Remove from the heat and stir in the pink peppercorns, if using; cool to room temperature and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.  The mixture will thicken as it chills.  Remove the whole spices; serve slightly chilled in a cut-glass bowl, if you have one.    Keeps for at least 2 weeks under refrigeration.

COOK’S NOTE:  Just a note about sweetness…I prefer a rather tart sauce, so taste the sauce about 5 minutes into the final cooking with the cranberries.  If you want it sweeter, add more sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.

Cranberry-Clementine Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2014.  All rights reserved.

043Look at those Clementines all snuggled in with their whole spices…very cozy.






067You want there to be at least 75% whole berries, but they do need to be tender.  Look at those lovely pink peppercorns just resting.






Some options:

  • You can add some apple chunks near the end of cooking, if you wish.  You can  swap 1 cup of the water for 1 cup of apple cider, but the end result will be much thicker, almost jellied.
  • For a seasonal cocktail sauce, add some horseradish and chili sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice; use with shrimp or crabmeat.
  • I do rather like this with 1/2 a vanilla bean added, particularly if I’m serving this as a dessert with good vanilla ice cream.  This is best made at least 24 hours ahead.
  • Combine some 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3/4 cup cranberry sauce for a great sandwich spread.
  • If you decided to use the star anise, I usually add it with the cranberries.  Star anise has a very intense flavor that can over-power all the all the other flavors.  Then I remove it after the mixture cools, but before I chill it.  If you like the flavor, by all means, leave it in…make this sauce yours and enjoy the holiday.