Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

Cranberry sauce is a classic accompaniment to turkey and other festive dishes, but did you know that you can make your own at home with just a few simple ingredients?

In this blog post, I will show you how to make a delicious cranberry sauce recipe inspired by the famous British cook Delia Smith. This cranberry sauce is sweet, tangy, and spiced with orange, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and port. It’s easy to make ahead and freeze, and it will add a burst of flavor and color to your holiday table.

What is Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

Delia Smith is a famous British cook, author, and television presenter who has been teaching people how to cook for over 50 years. She is known for her simple, reliable, and delicious recipes that use everyday ingredients and techniques. One of her popular recipes is the cranberry sauce recipe, which she first published in her 1990 book Delia Smith’s Christmas. This cranberry sauce recipe is made with fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice and zest, ginger, sugar, spices, and port wine. It has a sweet, tangy, and spiced flavor that complements turkey and other festive dishes. It is also easy to make ahead and freeze, and it can be used in various ways.

This recipe makes about 600 grams (1.3 pounds) of cranberry sauce, enough for 8 to 10 servings.

Why You Should Make Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce

There are several compelling reasons to prepare this cranberry sauce for your upcoming holiday feast:

  • Simplicity and Speed: This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and a saucepan, and it’s ready in under 20 minutes. Plus, it can be made in advance and frozen, offering convenience on busy feast days.
  • Flavorful and Adaptable: With its sweet, tangy, and subtly spiced taste, this cranberry sauce complements a variety of meats like turkey, ham, and chicken. It’s also great as a sandwich spread, a topping for pancakes or waffles, a pie or tart filling, or as a base for other sauces and dressings.
  • Health Benefits and Purity: Prepared with fresh or frozen cranberries, this sauce is a source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. It’s free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, setting it apart from some commercial alternatives. You also have the flexibility to adjust the sugar and alcohol content to meet different dietary needs and preferences.

What You Need to Make Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce

To make this cranberry sauce recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 450 grams (1 pound) of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 large orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of freshly grated ginger or half a level teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 75 grams (3 ounces) of light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
  • A small piece of cinnamon stick (about 4 centimeters or 1.5 inches)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of port wine

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce

To make this cranberry sauce recipe, you will need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Chop the cranberries

You can use a food processor, a blender, or a knife to chop the cranberries into small pieces. You don’t want to puree them, but you want them to release their juices and pectin as they cook. Alternatively, you can use a mincer or a meat grinder to process the cranberries, which will give you a smoother texture.

Step 2: Cook the cranberries

Transfer the chopped cranberries to a medium saucepan and add the orange juice, the orange zest, the ginger, the sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Then, lower the heat and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes if using frozen cranberries or 8 to 10 minutes if using fresh cranberries, until the cranberries are tender but still hold their shape. The sauce will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if it looks runny at this point.

Step 3: Stir in the port

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the port wine. You can also taste the sauce and adjust the sweetness or the tartness according to your preference. You can add more sugar, more orange juice, or more port if you like.

Step 4: Cool and store the cranberry sauce

Let the cranberry sauce cool completely before transferring it to a serving dish or a storage container. You can cover the sauce with plastic wrap or a lid and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to six months. You can also can the cranberry sauce in sterilized jars and store it in a cool and dark place for up to a year. To serve the cranberry sauce, bring it to room temperature or warm it slightly in the microwave or on the stove. Don’t forget to remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves before serving.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe Delia Smith

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce?

Delia Smith cranberry sauce is a versatile condiment that can be served with a variety of dishes, such as:

  • Turkey: A timeless match for Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. Serve it alongside, over-sliced turkey, or incorporate it into a turkey sandwich, salad, or casserole.
  • Ham: Complements baked, glazed, or smoked ham beautifully. Use it as a dip or glaze, or in unique dishes like ham and cranberry croissants, quiches, or pizzas.
  • Chicken: Elevates chicken dishes, whether it’s roasted, in breast form, or even nuggets. Use as a sauce, marinade, or in recipes like chicken and cranberry pies, wraps, or curries.
  • Cheese: Pairs excellently with soft, creamy cheeses like brie, camembert, or cream cheese, either as a spread or topping. Also great in cheese and cranberry toasts, muffins, or dips.
  • Desserts: An inventive ingredient for cakes, pies, tarts, or puddings, serving as a filling or frosting. Explore its potential in cranberry sauce ice cream, cheesecakes, or crumbles.

Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce

To achieve the best results with Delia Smith’s cranberry sauce, consider these expert tips:

  • Cranberry Selection: Use fresh or frozen cranberries, ensuring they are unsweetened. Fresh cranberries are typically available in fall and winter, while frozen ones are found year-round. No need to thaw frozen cranberries before cooking, but you might slightly adjust the cooking time.
  • Preparing Cranberries: Chop the cranberries using a hand, food processor, blender, or mincer. This helps release their juices and pectin, creating a thicker, smoother sauce. Aim for small pieces rather than a puree.
  • Incorporating Orange: Use a zester, grater, or vegetable peeler for the orange zest, avoiding the bitter white pith. Squeeze the orange juice manually or with a juicer. The orange lends a citrusy flavor and natural sweetness to the sauce.
  • Adding Ginger: Both fresh and ground ginger work well. Fresh ginger offers a more intense flavor, while ground ginger is convenient and milder. Grate fresh ginger using a knife, spoon, or Microplane. Store any leftover fresh ginger in the freezer.
  • Sweetening the Sauce: Light muscovado or light brown sugar adds a caramelized sweetness. You can also use white sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar, adjusting the amount and cooking time as needed. Taste and add more sugar if required, depending on the cranberries’ tartness and your taste preference.
  • Spicing It Up: A small piece of cinnamon stick and four whole cloves infuse the sauce with a warm, festive flavor. You can also use ground cinnamon and cloves or experiment with nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, or star anise for different flavors.
  • Adding Port: Port wine enriches the sauce with a rich, fruity flavor and a hint of alcohol. Other red wines, sherry, brandy, or cranberry juice are suitable alternatives. Adjust the amount and sweetness accordingly, or omit for a non-alcoholic version.
  • Cooking the Sauce: Cook in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and prevent burning. Alternatively, microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every minute, or slow cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. The sauce is ready when cranberries are tender and the sauce thickens and becomes glossy. It will thicken further as it cools.

Variations of Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce

Experiment with these variations to add a twist to the classic Delia Smith cranberry sauce:

  • Cranberry and Apple Sauce: Add peeled, chopped apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, or Honeycrisp) for added crunch and sweetness, along with lemon juice and zest for balance.
  • Cranberry and Pear Sauce: Include peeled, chopped pears (Bartlett, Bosc, or Anjou) for softness and juiciness. Enhance the flavor with vanilla extract or vanilla bean.
  • Cranberry and Pineapple Sauce: Incorporate chopped fresh or canned pineapple and some pineapple juice for a tropical tang. Add coconut flakes or coconut milk for a creamy taste.
  • Cranberry and Cherry Sauce: Mix in pitted, chopped fresh, or frozen cherries and some cherry juice for extra color and sweetness. Almond extract or slivered almonds can add a nutty crunch.
  • Cranberry and Apricot Sauce: Use chopped dried or fresh apricots with apricot juice or water for a tart chewiness. Rose water or rose petals can impart a floral aroma.

How do I store Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce Leftovers?

You can store the Delia Smith cranberry sauce leftovers in the following ways:

  • Refrigerate: You can cover the sauce with plastic wrap or a lid and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also transfer the sauce to a glass jar or a plastic container for easier storage and serving.
  • Freeze: You can freeze the sauce in a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag for up to six months. You can also freeze the sauce in ice cube trays or muffin tins for smaller portions. Make sure to label and date the sauce before freezing it.
  • Can: You can the sauce in sterilized jars and store it in a cool and dark place for up to a year. You can follow the instructions for water bath canning or pressure canning, depending on the type of jars and lids you use. Make sure to check the seals and the quality of the sauce before opening and using it.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Cranberry Sauce Leftovers?

You can reheat the Delia Smith cranberry sauce leftovers in the following ways:

  • Microwave: Transfer the cranberry sauce to a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a lid or a paper towel. Microwave it on high for about 30 seconds, or until it is warm and bubbly. Stir it well and serve.
  • Stove: Transfer the cranberry sauce to a small saucepan and heat it over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it is warm and bubbly. You may need to add a splash of water or orange juice if the sauce is too thick. Serve it hot or at room temperature.
  • Oven: Transfer the cranberry sauce to an oven-safe baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake it in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 15 minutes, or until it is warm and bubbly. Serve it hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition value per serving (1/4 cup):

  • Calories: 125
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 27 g
  • Protein: 0.6 g
  • Vitamin C: 10% of daily value
  • Vitamin E: 12% of daily value

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Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned how to make a delicious cranberry sauce recipe inspired by Delia Smith. This cranberry sauce is easy, quick, and versatile, and it will add a festive touch to your holiday table. You can also customize it with your favorite spices, sweeteners, or liquids, and use it in various ways. If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

Happy cooking and happy holidays!

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