A little over a year ago, I was introduced to a fellow ex-pat living here because she also married a Brit.  We’ve been baking buddies and love to swap recipes (not to mention, we both hold Miss Martha in the highest esteem).  And, bless her, she still keeps Thanksgiving every year despite the fact that they don’t celebrate that holiday here – and, in fact, in November, turkeys can be hard to come by because the farmers are all fattening them up for Christmas, when Brits traditionally eat turkey.

At any rate, last year we both made our jams and chutneys and such and swapped gift hampers – this was in the one she gave me and, I’m telling you, I swooned when I had it with my turkey sammich the next day.

This cranberry sauce is why we have turkeys.  If turkeys knew that this would ultimately be their fate, they would have no problem with being a backdrop in an ill-advised Sarah Palin interview.  This is so good, in fact, I say you should make the turkey the day before, then pop it in the fridge for cold turkey sammies with a heaping spoonful of this sauce spread over it on the Big Day.  Let’s be honest, the best part of Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner is the leftovers, anyway!!

This isn’t a chutney – it’s really more of a deeply spiced jam.   So, prepare your jam jars accordingly (run through the dishwasher then pop them into a low-heat oven for about 20 minutes) – this recipe makes 3 smallish jars.

The Best Cranberry Sauce on the Planet

  • 1 3/4 cup bull-bodied red wine (I like Chianti, myself)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole all-spice
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 12 oz bag cranberries

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, mix the wine, sugars, zest and spices – basically, everything but the cranberries – and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer until reduced by half (about 20-30 minutes).  Strain out the cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, allspice berries and cloves, then add the cranberries and cook well.  They’ll pop, then continue to cook until they’re nice and mushy and the sauce is thickened.   Carefully pour into sterilized jars.  Store in a cool, dark cupboard and it’ll keep for around 6 months.