Friday 26 December 2014

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Orange (includes Thermomix instructions)

Delicious served as a condiment with a roast turkey dinner, on the side of cold meats, or in a baguette with soft brie, and maybe even a little bacon, or with turkey, ham and stuffing!

Cranberry sauce isn't just for Christmas, so why not make more of this deliciously tart and tangy sauce! This luxury version is enhanced by the flavours of port, orange and a hint of star anise, and as well as the traditional foil for a rich turkey dinner, it is the perfect partner to rich and creamy French cheeses and cold meats.

This yields about 1.1 to 1.2 litres of sauce, and it will keep unopened in the fridge for many months (mine usually happily lasts up to a year, or more!) if sealed in sterilised jars, as well as keeping a good few weeks after being opened. Makes a lovely gift, too. Around 50 calories per tablespoon.

  • Zest of two oranges
  • 250ml orange juice (you'll need around 4 oranges, or just buy fresh smooth orange juice)
  • 350ml port (reserve 50ml)
  • 80g redcurrant jelly
  • 600g cranberries (preferably fresh, as they will thicken up the sauce more, washed and picked over)
  • 2 star anise (optional, gives a lovely hint of warm spice)
  • 70g sugar (e.g. golden caster / raw sugar, or more to taste)

(See below for Thermomix method in italics)
Put 300ml of the port (reserving the other 50ml) and finely grate the zest of the two oranges, then add all of the other ingredients except for the sugar into a large pan. Bring to a gentle simmer, and then cook for about 20 minutes until the cranberries have burst and you have a lovely glossy thick sauce (but not jam!). 


Add the sugar, stir gently until dissolved, and then taste. It should be quite tart but add more sugar if required.

Cool a little, remove the star anise, add the port and seal in sterilised jars. Once cooled completely, refrigerate and store chilled.

Thermomix method
Firstly, add the peeled orange zest (avoid the white pith as far as possible), 250g orange juice, 300g port, and 80g redcurrant jelly to the jug, then blend for 1 minute / Speed 10 (MC on). 

Add the 600g cranberries and 2 star anise on top (optional) then cook for 10 minutes / 100C / Reverse / Speed 1 / Simmering Basket on top of the lid to stop splashes - keep half an eye on it for the last minute, just in case it starts to bubble over (it shouldn't do, but the sugar in fruit varies). Then cook for a further 8 minutes / 90C / Reverse / Speed 1 / MC off. 

Add 70g sugar, and cook for a further 2 minutes / 90C / Reverse / MC off and then leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes or so. Make sure you have sufficient sterilised jars and lids ready (e.g. you'll need about four jam jar size) and finally add the final 50g port and stir in 1 minute / Reverse / Speed 2. Remove the star anise when bottling up, and once cooled, store in the fridge.


  1. this looks amazing , going to add it to my list of Christmas Fayre

  2. Question... The redcurrant jelly - is that just a packet of the powder or finished (set) jelly?

    1. Hi Mags - it's an English condiment that I'd describe as like a set jam made from redcurrants boiled up with sugar as it's base, then sieved / strained (and it sets due to the pectin in the berries) rather than a jelly/jello made with gelatin. We can buy it in jars here.


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