Canadian Cranberry Sauce à L’Americaine

When I was little I remember my mom doing so much cooking with my class, bringing in food and other traditional objects to my teacher, reading a story or sharing a song.  I even remember taking my entire class (okay so it was only 7 people from K-W Bilingual School in Waterloo Ontario) to our house to cook something in French class from this book I found on her cookbook shelf.  Classic Canadian Cooking by Elizabeth Baird.  Since then, growing up, and moving to the United States, it’s been my cookbook security blanket of sorts and the simple Cranberry Sauce recipe is the inspiration for the sauce I make every year for American Thanksgiving.

Slightly Citrus Cranberry Sauce

*Notes.  I use 1 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of flavoured sugar (this year is star anise vanilla sugar). Yields about 3 8 oz jars of cranberry sauce.


1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 a cup of Port
1 1/2 – 2 cups of white caster/granulated sugar
2-3 whole cloves
1/4 of an orange’s zest thinly slivered
4 cups of cranberries

Wash and sort through the cranberries looking for little stems and overly mushy berries.  Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, pour the water, Port, sugar and cloves.
Wash and dry the orange and then over the saucepan (to capture the oils) use a cocktail zester or a vegetable peeler to peel thin slivers of orange zest.

Bring the ingredients in the saucepan up to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.  Using chopsticks or a slotted spoon remove the cloves.  If you have large bits of zest you can remove them as well or leave them in if you don’t mind the texture.

Add in the cranberries and cook them uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes until all the cranberries have popped.  The sauce will thicken as it cools.  Then you have a few choices for packing the sauce up.

I love to seal it with paraffin wax because I know I’m going to use it in a few days and I am not worried about it not being perfectly sterile.

You can also pour the sauce into jars (heat the jars first by slowly pouring boiling water into them and then dumping it out).  Let it cool on the counter and then refrigerate until Thanksgiving.

Lastly, you can can the sauce in sterile jars and give them as gifts to friends and family before the holidays.

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