Cranberry sauce

Cranberries, orange zest and juice and sugar, all you need to make a delicious cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce isn’t something that is served in Italian households. In fact any sauces, save for those you put on pasta, are rather alien to us. Growing up, we were made to be highly suspicious of sauces, especially opaque ones. “Whatta area dey trying to cover upaa?” my mother would say with, probably, hands on hips. Subsequently, I didn’t try Indian food til I was very grown up and my best friend’s husband, Mark (half Indian) introduced me to it. Accompaniment sauces, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, chutney etc are never on the table, either, in the Italian households I visit. Although in recent years, younger relatives have started using them.

I’ve had this recipe for cranberry sauce for ages. Torn out of a long ago published magazine. I have no idea what attracted me to it, given that cranberry sauce, have I mentioned, didn’t feature on my radar. It may well have been on the same page as a recipe for chocolate biscuits or something. Who knows. What I do know is that when I got me an English husband (almost) and I started moving away from always having Christmases at my parents’ house (sob!), I also started making cranberry sauce.

And this one is fantastic. And so easy.

The beauty is that you use the same amount of sugar as you have cranberries. I’d say from about 250-500g of cranberries, one orange zest/juice is fine. If you start to go above those quantities then you might want to use more orange zest/juice. The packets of cranberries that Waitrose sell come in about 325g, so I use those, and of course 325g of sugar. This makes more than enough for about six people. I’d say 500g cranberries/sugar would make enough for about ten. Obviously it depends on how much you put on your plate. Anyway it’s nice to make extra and have some left over to use for cold cuts over the next few days and weeks – it keeps for months.

So. You take:

The same amount of cranberries as you have sugar, so say 250g cranberries, 250g caster sugar
Grated zest and juice of one orange.

Preheat oven to 170C/gas 3. It’s hard to say how big your dish should be, but about 1 litre for 500g of cranberries?

Put the cranberries in the baking dish, scatter over the sugar, zest and juice. Stir around gently so that the berries are coated. That’s it. Now cover with foil (although I have cooked without foil and it’s been fine!) and cook for 35-40 mins until the berries are tender and bubbling. (What I do is set the timer for 20 mins and then give the berries a gentle stir and check how they’re doing.)

Cool and store in a jar in the fridge. Keeps for weeks if not months.

Here it is finished in the jam jar, ready to go into the fridge.
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