Combining the sweet and tart flavors of blueberries and cranberries makes for a delectable cranberry blueberry sauce. Their flavors play well off of each other. Most will be familiar with the traditional cranberry sauce that, for many, has to be part of a roasted turkey or chicken dinner. Click here for my recipe for classic cranberry sauce.
As a variation to that sauce, I have created a recipe using a blend of cranberries and high bush blueberries.
This sauce, in a gorgeous deep burgundy-purple color, pairs well with poultry and even with beef and pork dishes. The blueberries add a layer of natural sweetness to the sauce and pair well with the more tart cranberries, toning them down just a bit but still letting the cranberry flavor come through.
The key to making a nice consistency sauce with blueberries and cranberries is to, first, make a simple syrup of water and sugar then add the cranberries that take longer to cook than the blueberries which are added to the late stage cooking. The secret to getting a thickened sauce is to stir it both while it is cooking and cooling. Stir it lots during the cooling process – it will appear quite watery when it comes off the stove but, by stirring it as it cools, you’ll be amazed how it thickens well.
If I am plating a meal, I like to put the sauce in a small condiment dish on each plate. This contains the sauce which, regardless how thick it is, tends to run into other foods on the plate.
This sauce, like my traditional cranberry sauce, freezes well. I make up a batch or two at a time and freeze it in airtight serving-size dishes – some are single serving, some are double, and some are larger size. To thaw, simply remove the sauce from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for an hour or so (depending on the size of container, of course).
[Printable recipe follows at end of post]
Cranberry Blueberry Sauce
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup water
1½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup apple, finely chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup high-bush blueberries, fresh or frozen
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 star anise pod (optional)
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
In medium-sized saucepan, bring sugars and water to boil. Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Add cranberries, apple, and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat, stirring periodically throughout the cooking process for about 8 minutes then add the blueberries and spices. Increase heat to return mixture to boiling point then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir the sauce periodically while cooking it for another 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and blueberries have softened.
Remove saucepan from heat and remove the star anise pod. Add orange rind. Stir frequently as the sauce cools to help it to thicken.
Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for longer storage.
Yield: Apx. 2 cups