Christmas and cranberry sauce

…. Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I’m currently in the kitchen with Christmas songs blaring, a glass of champagne and some wonderful turkey scents drifting from the oven. In fact, I only have a couple of minutes before my brother and his wife and their little Olives arrive, so I’ll keep this brief…

My only contribution to the Christmas cooking is cranberry sauce. My mum always makes the most amazing spread, and she has everything covered, so this is really all I’m allowed to do. I use Nigella’s wonderful Redder than Red Cranberry Sauce recipe, only without cherry brandy (I can’t stand it) but with whatever other brandy my dad has in the cupboard (he is a big brandy/cognac fan so I usually have a good selection to choose from)

It’s simple and easy, will only dirty one pan on Christmas day (crucial with all the other dishes going on) and takes all of 15 minutes to make. But most of all, I assure you this is a million times better than any shop bought cranberry sauce.


To make enough to feed 10 on Christmas day (or half that amount with lots leftover for turkey sandwiches the next day) you will need:

  • 600g fresh cranberries
  • a big splash of brandy (when noone’s looking)
  • half a cup of water
  • 400g caster sugar
  • squeeze of lemon
  • airtight jar for storage

Throw all of your ingredients into a deep frying pan on a medium to high heat. Dance around your kitchen to Christmas songs, grabbing a cat as dance partner if one wanders in to your path. After around 4 minutes (I actually timed it for you), you will notice the cranberries popping gently, and their skins will be split slightly. Once this starts, turn your heat right down and stir the sauce furiously until every single cranberry has popped (around another 5 minutes). Then leave to cool in the pan slightly before transferring to your jar. Leave the lid off for a while to allow the sauce to cool right down.

Plonk on your Christmas table and enjoy!

I made this first thing in the morning, and then went back up to bed with my kindle, an espresso and a very happy Christmas cat…. Great start to Christmas day!




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