Fiery Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce has become an obligatory part of any Thanksgiving dinner, and yet I’ve never been a huge fan. My family would always end up with a huge bowl of leftover cranberry sauce and then the only person who actually liked the stuff would have to eat the rest.

It’s not so much that I dislike it… it’s just… cranberry sauce. I’ve tried all the usual tricks like adding triple sec (which reminds me of cheap cocktails from my college years) or making a raw “relish” out of it. After thinking about it for a while I decided that the sauce had plenty of sweetness and tartness, but it lacked some of the other tastes (salt, bitter, spice). It also doesn’t have much of a flavour on it’s own (which is presumably why cranberry juice is usually mixed with other kinds of juice).

Since I was going for a West Asian Thanksgiving, I decided to hit it with some heat as well as a lot of cinnamon to give it more flavour. The resulting cranberry sauce was full of character and made a fitting accompaniment to the harissa roast turkey. After thinking about it more I think you could get similarly tasty results by steeping earl grey tea or cardamom in the water before adding the cranberries.

12 oz bag of cranberries washed and picked through for stems
1 C sugar
1 C water
2 cinnamon sticks (try using Vietnamese cinnamon if you can get your hands on some)
1 tsp grated cinnamon
1 hot pepper

Add the sugar, water, cinnamon and pepper to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cranberries and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

Pour the cranberry sauce into a bowl and allow it to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Thanks for the recipe, Marc! I’m guessing the pepper doesn’t totally disintegrate into the sauce. I’m thinking it would be a lot of fun not to fish it out ;)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Thanks for the recipe, Marc! I’m guessing the pepper doesn’t totally disintegrate into the sauce. I’m thinking it would be a lot of fun not to fish it out ;)

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Cleber way to spice up the cranberry sauce Marc. I also like the Earl Grey idea too!

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Cleber way to spice up the cranberry sauce Marc. I also like the Earl Grey idea too!

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com/ Elra

    This is my type of cranberry sauce. I like it spicy, sweet and sour at the same time. Thanksgiving this year, I made Harissa with cranberry and made it really spicy, it was a real hit!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com Elra

    This is my type of cranberry sauce. I like it spicy, sweet and sour at the same time. Thanksgiving this year, I made Harissa with cranberry and made it really spicy, it was a real hit!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    my mates and i LOVE cranberry sauce but not so much my family. i have cranberry sauce with brie, bacon, turkey or just rocket in a sandwich. it’s just so amazing. i’ll hafta give this a try some time when i’m braver. looks fantastic!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    my mates and i LOVE cranberry sauce but not so much my family. i have cranberry sauce with brie, bacon, turkey or just rocket in a sandwich. it’s just so amazing. i’ll hafta give this a try some time when i’m braver. looks fantastic!

  • http://joiedevivreanamateurgourmetsguide.blogspot.com/ Joie de vivre

    Hot pepper? How interesting! I looked at your 24 post yesterday, it looks fabulous!

  • http://joiedevivreanamateurgourmetsguide.blogspot.com/ Joie de vivre

    Hot pepper? How interesting! I looked at your 24 post yesterday, it looks fabulous!

  • http://www.peppercornpress.com/ Peppercorn Press

    This sounds great. I love a bit of heat with my sweet things! I’m very curious about this flavor and will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.peppercornpress.com Peppercorn Press

    This sounds great. I love a bit of heat with my sweet things! I’m very curious about this flavor and will have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: A West Asian Thanksgiving | [ No Recipes ]

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    I love the idea of sweet/tart cranberries with a bit of heat. Sounds like a perfect accompaniment to any variety of meats. Pork tenderloin comes to mind…

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    I love the idea of sweet/tart cranberries with a bit of heat. Sounds like a perfect accompaniment to any variety of meats. Pork tenderloin comes to mind…

  • Pingback: Cinnamon Harissa Turkey | [ No Recipes ]

  • Marc

    Mark, it probably depends on the type of pepper you use, but mine was still completely intact. In fact I squeezed it a bit to get some extra capsaicin into the sauce.

    Thanks Peter, I think I’m going to give the earl grey a try next time I pick up some more cranberries. I think it would make a good cocktail too if it were strained and used as a syrup.

    Thanks Elra, sounds like we were thinking along the same lines:-)

    Diva, brie bacon and turkey with cranberry sounds like a fantastic sandwich!

    Thanks Joie de vivre

    Peppercorn Press, other than chocolate I haven’t experimented much with heat in sweet things, but this has me thinking of other possibilities

    Heather, pork tenderloin and cranberries sound like a great idea. Let me know if you try it out.

  • Marc

    Mark, it probably depends on the type of pepper you use, but mine was still completely intact. In fact I squeezed it a bit to get some extra capsaicin into the sauce.

    Thanks Peter, I think I’m going to give the earl grey a try next time I pick up some more cranberries. I think it would make a good cocktail too if it were strained and used as a syrup.

    Thanks Elra, sounds like we were thinking along the same lines:-)

    Diva, brie bacon and turkey with cranberry sounds like a fantastic sandwich!

    Thanks Joie de vivre

    Peppercorn Press, other than chocolate I haven’t experimented much with heat in sweet things, but this has me thinking of other possibilities

    Heather, pork tenderloin and cranberries sound like a great idea. Let me know if you try it out.

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com/ [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    You’re right about cranberry sauce being too one-dimensional. Me likey this!

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    You’re right about cranberry sauce being too one-dimensional. Me likey this!

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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