Port wine and fresh (or frozen) cranberries buddy up to make by far the best cranberry sauce I’ve ever made or tasted.
Although super simple to make, this port cranberry sauce has a depth and character that makes it so unique and incredibly delicious.
The key to the added depth and interest in this sauce is the port wine. Tawny port or ruby port will both work for this recipe. The difference between tawny and ruby port? This article and this article highlight some of their differences and some characteristics of each. Tawny port is aged in oak barrels and takes on a more, well, tawny color. Tawny port is also sweet, but usually not quite as sweet as its ruby port cousin.
This port cranberry sauce is perfect as a condiment served alongside meats and/or stuffing, but it also is wonderful heated and served atop vanilla ice cream.
You easily can adjust the consistency of this port cranberry sauce by cooking it longer so that it will be thicker once cooled, or by cooking it less for a looser and thinner sauce–both ways taste wonderful. I’ve also played with the spices some: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves can be adjusted to your taste, and this last time, I added grated peel from an orange, which was a really nice addition. I’m hoping that you’ll give this port cranberry sauce a try…it’s simple and fast to make, can be made days in advance, and it’s unforgettably unique and wonderful! Here’s the recipe:
- 12 ounces fresh (or frozen) cranberries, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup tawny port or ruby port wine
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- grated zest of one orange (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until cranberries pop and soften, about 5 more minutes. For a looser and thinner sauce, remove from heat sooner. For a thicker and more congealed sauce, cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to serving dish of your choice.
- Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Can be made up to three days in advance.
- Allow to warm to room temperature for serving, if desired.
- Can be re-heated to serve atop ice cream, if desired.
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