Fresh Gingered Cranberry Sauce

Thanks to Tracy from North Brookfield Mass for use of this image from Wikimedia Commons!


Growing up, I took my mother’s home made cranberry sauce for granted at Thanksgiving.   Pork was always served with cooked apple or pear, and turkey was always served with fresh cranberry sauce.   It wasn’t until we moved to China that I learned that cranberries and pecans (as well as turkeys) seem to be distinctively North American foods.   I’ve written on this blog before about my quest for a turkey at Thanksgiving.   Less dramatic was my quest for cranberries!  The expat grocery stores carried some canned, congealed cranberry sauce.  The closest I approximation of anything similar to what my mother used to make was the Ligonberry sauce, available only at Ikea after it opened its store in Guangzhou.

Well, this particular recipe for cranberry sauce is not from China.  I am posting it on my blog so that friends and family can duplicate what they’ve had at my house!  Several years before moving to China, I found a good cranberry sauce recipe in Food & Wine magazine.  There is also a decent recipe on the bag of Ocean Spray brand cranberries.  Once one learns the basics, which is pretty simple, one can play it by ear.  The basic combination is enough liquid to boil the cranberries and some sugar.  Boil them until they pop.   Additional ingredients add character.  Last year as I was cooking our family’s cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, I wrote down what I did, hence making this recipe:


  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine or sherry
  • 1 fresh orange, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 whole shallot, finely minced
  • 1 piece of ginger the size of your thumb, peeled and slivered
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • Sugar to taste (approximately 3/4 cup)


  1. Bring orange juice to boil, with cinnamon stick and clove
  2. Add shallot and sugar, stirring until blended
  3. Then add slivered ginger
  4. When mixture is boiling, add cranberries
  5. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook until the cranberries have popped open from the heat
  6. Add the minced orange
  7. Add the wine
  8. Cool and serve  (The cranberry sauce will congeal as it cools.  If sealed while hot, it will keep well in the refrigerator for some time.  I suggest keeping the amount you expect to use in one dish, and ladling the excess into a separate container for later use.)






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