A basic cranberry sauce is nothing more than fresh berries, sugar and water, but sweet-tart cranberries pair well with a wide variety of other Cranberry sauce is a staple on my table when I’m serving Thanksgiving dinner or other roasts in the fall. The berries themselves are very tart, but with a generous addition of sugar, it turns into a sweet-tart sauce that compliments everything from turkey to roast beef. This Cinnamon Cherry Cranberry Sauce uses both cranberries and cherries for a fruity sauce that is both sweet and tart in every spoonful.
The fruits are combined with white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks on the stovetop. The cinnamon sticks add a nice hint of spice without overwhelming the fruit and I steep them in the sauce from the time it starts cooking until it has completely cooled and is ready to serve. If you happen to make any fall centerpieces, the cinnamon sticks will be a beautiful red color after cooking, so feel free to rinse them off and add them to your centerpiece! The sauce cooks up in just a few minutes. I typically make it in advance and refrigerate it until I’m ready to serve it, but it can also be served warm if you want to get it to the table right away.
By the time that the fall holidays roll around and you’re likely to be making cranberry sauce, cherries may be out of season. While you can use fresh cherries if you can get them, it is perfectly ok to use frozen cherries or jarred cherries (packed in juice, not syrup, and drained) instead. Similarly, you can use fresh or frozen cranberries. If you are using frozen fruit, you may need to extend the cooking time by a minute.
Cinnamon Cherry Cranberry Sauce
8 oz cherries (fresh or frozen)
16 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, cherries, sugars, salt, cinnamon sticks and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, until the cranberries start to pop. Continue cooking, stirring regularly, to thicken the sauce slightly, 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow sauce to sit with cinnamon sticks in it until it reaches room temperature, then remove the cinnamon sticks and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes about 4 cups.