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Cranberry and dried cherry sauce

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What's Thanksgiving without homemade cranberry sauce?

Growing up, my first experience with cranberry sauce was the gelatinous stuff that comes out of the can, complete with the can rings. I was never a cranberry sauce fan, until I started making my own cranberry sauce. I have made many different versions, some with port and cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, lemon or orange, but this simple recipe is my favorite. I found this recipe in the November 1998 publication of Bon Appétit and my family has insisted on it every Thanksgiving ever since. I add a little orange zest to the original recipe.

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Cranberry sauce is for more than turkey

This recipe makes a generous 2 cups, and you will be glad it did. Save any leftovers! The sauce is wonderful on turkey sandwiches the next day, but my favorite way to use it is on a crostini or cracker with a smear of Delice de Bourgogne cheese. Delice de Bourgogne is a delicious French cow's milk triple cream cheese. I often serve this combination as part of a cheese platter.

Cranberry and dried cherry sauce




Dried cherries balance the tartness of the cranberries in this super-easy and super-good cranberry sauce. Great with turkey, but also wonderful on a cracker with a smear of triple cream cheese.


  • 2.5 cups cherry cider or cranberry juice
  • 1/2 pound dried cherries, about 2 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Zest from one half orange
  • 1/4 t ground cloves


  1. In a medium size pot, bring cider to a boil. Turn off, remove from heat and add cherries. Let cherries reconstitute in the hot juice for about 8 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, cranberries, zest and ground cloves. Return to heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium high and cook until the cranberry skins pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Transfer to a glass or plastic container and refrigerate for 4 hours or for up to 4 days. Sauce thickens as it cools.




  1. Anthony Gehm says:

    Made this for my family Thanksgiving/father’s birthday. It was a huge hit. Everyone loved it. The touch of cloves and orange zest really make it great.

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Anthony,

      I’m so glad you liked it. If you have leftovers try it with a bit of cheese. My favorite is Delice de Bourgogne. Costco stocks it at a very reasonable price.

  2. jean gordon says:

    i just made this… and… well…i’ve truly never LOVED cranberry sauce before…truly…but this time…omg..i wanted to spoon it on ice cream… it’s that amazing…it reminds me of a duck sauce or … i don’t know…Couldn’t find cherry cider so used organic (that thick and potent) cranberry juice and rind of a mandarin orange. GREAT. Can’t wait for thanksgiving and cheese, crackers and this sauce the next day!!! thanks kim!!!!

    1. Kim says:

      Have a Great Thanksgiving Jean!

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