Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce, with dried apricots and pineapple

Like the ad over here, regarding pets as presents, cranberry sauce shouldn’t just be for Christmas. And I tend to have a small jar of the stuff in my cupboard throughout the year. As I do like grabbing and roasting turkey legs, when I can find them (which isn’t very often). Think very large drumsticks that ex flatmates used to call dinosaur sticks – so witty they were! Should miss them, really. No really, I should. But I don’t. This time around, and this was around Christmas, I could’t resist buying in a punnet of fresh cranberries. Maybe I should’ve refrained. As the vast majority of them were marbled in colour rather than crimson. So I suspected that they might just be sour littl’ brutes – and I was right. No chance of going with a version of Chef Mimi’s cranberry salsa, which does sound delicious. Instead, tackling this recipe, like I do with most of mine, I kept adding small amounts of the other ingredients. And after what seemed like hours even then I couldn’t for the life of me get rid of the incredibly sour aftertaste. So I left the sauce in sterilised jars. Until I would come up with an extra ingredient to try and balance out their tartness. Pineapple! Seriously, for a nanosecond that evening I wondered if anyone else had had that idea…only around 150 million – plus! If it’s that bleedin’ popular how come the supermarkets haven’t caught on – yet. As for spices I haven’t gone with any as yet as I would prefer to use Cassia bark over Cinnamon quills. Neither of which I had to hand. Importantly, after allowing this to cool it’s shockingly bitter aftertaste had vanished. Vamooshed! And pleased to say this is storing well. Especially as it’s neither a chutney nor relish. There’s no vinegar included. Admittedly I kept the pineapple separate, just in case. Will have to keep an eye on the stuff as it now has the pineapple added. Purely for the photos. Talking of which, I wonder how many of you have noticed already…the folded up tablecloth that happens to be back to front. Ouch! Didn’t even realise until the photo was uploaded. Oh well, there’s always new, brighter shots tomorrow. But at least that one apricot is smiling. Or is it laughingly mocking me as most of you will be by now.

Cranberry Sauce, with dried apricots and pineapple

  • Servings: approx. 400g (14.11 oz)
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PREP: about 15 mins ~ COOK: about 30 – 45 mins ~ READY IN: 1 hour (best stored overnight)

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: sterilised jars for storage

  • 300g (10.58 oz) x fresh cranberries, washed and dried
  • up to 11 x tablespoons cold water (start off using 1 or 2 tbsp at a time, and add more when needed)
  • 3 x tablespoons molasses (very dark brown granulated) unrefined can sugar
  • 100g (3.527 oz) x dried apricots, cut in half lengthways then turned and sliced crossways into small chunks
  • 2 x tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 x small can pineapple chunks, drained (chunks chopped into smaller pieces) – amount used to personal taste

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 out of 6. When hot add the cranberries with about 4 or 5 tablespoons of cold water and 1 or 2 tablespoons of each of the sugars. Clamp on a lid, stirring through occasionally, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, staying with the pan at all times and reducing the heat if necessary. Keep adding more cold water to prevent the mixture from drying out and stirring through. Add the chopped apricots and stir through. Taste once the mixture is softening and add more sugar to personal taste as the cranberries I used were very tart, verging on bitter. The mixture should be wet but not like a stew. The liquid should be similar to a thick syrup but able to run off a spoon. Once mixture is thoroughly cooked allow to cool slightly before pouring in to sterilised jars for storage.
  • To sterilise jars: make sure the jars to be used have been washed thoroughly in very hot water. Let them drip dry. Place them upside down in the centre of a cold oven. Close the door and switch oven on to 180C. When oven has preheated switch the oven off and open the door slightly to allow the jars to cool sufficiently before removing them and pouring in the sauce for storage. The sauce should be warm before adding to hot jars.
  • Served with lots or as little chopped pineapple chunks as is needed to personal taste.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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  1. Love the sound of this – I, too, agree with you Cranberries are just not for Christmas – I love it in paninis, with brie, with stilton lots of things actually. This recipe is similar to once that my friend’s mum makes (I live in Texas) and the addition of fresh pineapple is wonderful. Really freshens it up. Thanks so much for your great recipes and ideas.

    • As it seems to be readily available here all year it must be fairly popular as condiments go. I happen to like redcurrant sometimes, too. I did buy in a fresh pineapple for this. But, I’m hoping to use half of the sauce within an pineapple upside down cake. Hence the fresh pineapple. Hmm, never enough time.

  2. I’m all for having cranberry sauce in the fridge year-round – such a great accompaniment for a variety of meat, as well as spread onto sandwiches, or dolloped onto chicken and camembert pizza (not terribly Italian, I know… but SO delicious!)
    I particularly like the idea of adding pineapple to the sauce – added sweetness and complexity of flavour – great with pork!?
    The muted tones of the tablecloth work perfectly in this photo (particularly with the floral saucers) – would never have noticed it was back to front, if you hadn’t mentioned it… and yes, I’d eat that apricot straight away – it’s definitely smirking! ;)

    • It must be fairly popular. Of course, I happen to like it so that must be unique in itself – just like my brainwave for including pineapple! Seriously, is there anything that hasn’t been done and online already?!
      Oh, that poor tablecloth. I remember distinctly folding it back to front to avoid stains in storage. I’m cursing! The light really is that dull here. Well, that’s my excuse. This set-up will be easy enough to replicate.
      Hmm, camembert pizza. I never buy them here as I detest the crusts/base as they’re always full of air. And it’s years since I’ve had a slice the last time I was in Italy. How difficult is it to make the base…

      • Pizza dough is really easy to make (and I find it very therapeutic too as I enjoy kneading the dough by hand!) I use a recipe by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall that works out beautifully every time. Perhaps I could add it to my ‘Cooking Basics’ section within the ‘Graze’ section of my menu – I’ll let you know if I do. No air bubbles in these ones Johnny… :)

        • I’m going to have to give it a go. I’ve even got 00 flour in my baking drawer. I just don’t have the space, as in counter space. Well, that’s my excuse. It’ll be a disaster if and when it happens! I really am such a klutz in my kitchen.

  3. I still think it’s a great photo! I didn’t even spot the the tablecloth is back to front, until you mentioned it! I hardly see fresh cranberries here, so I can only imagine how yours will taste like, the addition of pineapple sounds really interesting!

    • Thanks, Jasline. Well, I don’t mind the photo. Even though I’m not really enjoying photographing overhead. It’s such a nice tablecloth that it’s a shame to not show it off in its glory. As for fresh cranberries, I’d really like to taste ripe ones. Ugh, the cranberries I bought I couldn’t even contemplate tasting without cooking them. They really were that tart. It’s turned out to be an okay condiment. Now to use the other half within an upside down pineapple cake!

  4. I never would have spotted the back to front table cloth! What I did notice again, though, is that I really like your “from the top” food shots. I tried that last week but gave up. Ah well, I can always come here to look at yours :-) .

    • Oh, don’t give up on it. I don’t like taking these shots. And my camera’s playing up. So I’m usually throwing terrible 2′s tantrums! The only plus is the white board that’s washable, which means I can throw the stuff around – which is highly likely – and clear the stains. Will try and re-shoot this at some stage with better light – and tablecloth how we’re supposed to see it :)

    • Thank you. And if I can get my hands on nicely ripe cranberries I’m definitely trying your salsa. What disappointed me was that they didn’t ripen in my cupboard as I left them for several days to see if they would. Anyway, no more to be had over here.

  5. Cranberry and pineapple? Who would have thought? (Well clearly a lot of people, but) Haven’t really seen fresh cranberries over here, just various types of dried. Sadness. I’ll fall back on my sour cherry jam instead, it’s also pretty good for adding sweet-sour to dishes.

    • Would gladly swap your sour cherries for cranberries – any day. I can’t find them nearby. Okay, if I bothered to travel for about three hours round trip I probably could get them.

  6. Funny how certain foods are associated with a particular holiday or time of year and only made then, cranberry relish or sauce or whathaveyou is something associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas but it’s so wonderful and can be enjoyed with so many different foods. So glad you posted this, your cranberry sounds delicious. LOVE the apricot addition as well as the dark brown and muscovado sugar. Your photo is lovely!

    • I’m pleased that I’m not the only one that likes it out of the holiday season. As for posting this now I really didn’t expect those cranberries to turn out so well. I had some today with a new cauliflower dry curry as it’s the only suitable chutney-esque thing I have right now. It was really nice.
      Thanks re photo! I’m still cringing at the fact I photographed that would be beautiful tablecloth back to front :) Idiot, springs to mind!

  7. The recipe looks great – especially with the delicious apricots. I am with you – cranberry sauce is great to make in the Fall and Winter, when cranberries are available – and canned to enjoy year round. I think the photo looks outstanding… you are a perfectionist! :-)

    • Haha! I’m not that organised. Although, this year I did make lots of differing jams. And still have several pots left as I don’t eat the stuff very often. Actually, with cranberries they’re only ever in the shops here for Christmas. Then they disappear for another year. And they’re never ripe! Seriously, their colouration isn’t that of being ripe enough to pick.

  8. don’t know why it’s such a specific and seasonal thing cranberry sauce but I’m so accustomed to associating it solely with Thanksgiving but I easily see the point of enjoying it year round. I love the idea of mixing it up with apricots and pineapple. It’s a brilliant idea and even if there are 150 million incarnations of it, I’d never have heard it had you not had the spark! Re the spice: maybe cloves would work? Don’t you think? Thanks for link to Chef Mimi’s cranberry salsa. I’d missed it and it’s a great recipe.

    • There’s so little chance these days of coming up with anything original. It was quite funny, though. I wonder if anyone else has thought of that…
      Yes, I’d thought of cloves as well. But, if you had’ve had the chance to taste this as it was cooking I doubt you would’ve added anything as the sourness was quite shocking. And it’s probably not possible to buy already ground cloves here. So, unless I cook with whole cloves, as in adding them to green lentils, I ain’t gonna get the flavour I want. As I still haven’t bought a suitable grinder :). One day…

  9. You got me with the apricots and pineapple. :) Yummm…definitely have to try this recipe. We added orange to our recipe this year to sweeten it. Worked well but apricots and pineapple sounds even better!

    • Even though I had juicy little Clementines I decided not to go with orange as these cranberries were so sour. The only option seemed to be with sugars, and the dried apricots and pineapple. It’s not very sweet, unlike the commercial brands, and I happen to like the texture. The cranberries really have kept their shape. Although that’s not really possible to see as the natural light was so dull for the photos!

    • Well, I wouldn’t go as far as amazing :). If you’re in the UK I’m sure you’ll empathise with the state of fresh cranberries over here. Besides, I try and buy produce within Europe rather than worldwide. These were the exception. It is good, in a non sweet sort of way. And I’m just about to have more with a nice Cheddar.

  10. Aw Johnny, I do that: think I’ve had a mega-inspired idea only to find most of the foody presences on the internet got there first. But at least we all know you came up with your pineapple-cranberry combo on your own :) And it does look very good.
    Totes agree with you re: cranberries not just for Christmas. Can you imagine, all those sad unwanted cranberries languishing in dark places, rejected and unwanted because it’s not “trad” to eat them in July? *Grrr*.
    ADORE your photo – have pinned it. Especially love the apricot face – it looks like the Underdog from the National Accident Helpline. Uncanny!

    • Thanks for that! I hadn’t seen that ad as I don’t have a telly.
      I do like trad. I just don’t follow it. If I want cranberry sauce during the year I’ll have it. Partly as it’s for sale. and I’m pleased to say that this sauce (as it’s not very sweet) is going well with a simple little cauliflower and potato dry curry I’ve been making. Shame I forgot to buy in more potatoes as I’d thought about posting it soon. Still, there’s always tomorrow to buy those.

  11. Pineapple in cranberry sauce! Well, I never thought of it. I think it’s genius! And I never would have noticed that tablecloth Johnny. No, seriously! And I never laugh at you, only with you.

    • Thanks for that! There’s such a difference between laughing at and with. Having said that I’m still cringing at the use of that beautiful table cloth. But I couldn’t do anything else as the photo was uploaded already. And if you knew of the difficulties I have uploading! You would understand. So, I thought it best to go with and do my usual of showing myself up!

  12. Haha you made me laugh, what if someone else has put in pineapple :) I often think I’ve invented some crazy dish, only to have a look in google and discovered that yeah, someone else already made it! :) Anyway let me congratulate you on the beauuuutiful photo for this post. Cheers

    • Thanks, Sofia. And for the share on FB. Actually, I’d wanted to have more fun with this shoot but there just wasn’t enough natural light. I’d sort of wanted to me messier than usual. Almost as if I’d been having a tantrum – like a two year old!

    • Thank you. Actually, I’m very surprised at how well this turned out. And I’ve been having this with a cauliflower and potato dry curry recently. Oddly good together.

  13. Love the look of your picture. And I think the embroidery looks so pretty! I found fresh cranberries here for the first time and made some delicious pound cakes and cookies with it. Will try your sauce if I find more. R

    • Thank you. You’re right, the embroidery is really nice on that particular cloth. Which is why I was so vexed that it was back to front. Oh well, next time. I’ve yet to try pound cakes. And was toying with the idea of an upside down cake for the other half of the sauce, as I’ve already scoffed the stuff in the photos. Hmm, maybe tomorrow!

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