Cranberry Hibiscus Sauce

by Kris on November 14, 2011

Every Thanksgiving my mum would make her own cranberry sauce. As a child I never particularly liked cranberries as I found them bitter.

One year while walking the grocery aisles with my mum I came across a can of cranberry sauce. I was so intrigued by the picture of this red gelatinous sauce which kept it’s can shape that I begged my mum to buy it. The picture showed this tube of sauce, sliced into circular discs. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

That year we ate canned cranberry sauce. I think I was the only person who actually ate it, and I only ate it to justify to my mum that my red gelatinous discs were a good purchase.

Over the years my tastes have matured and cranberry sauce has found it’s way into my culinary repertoire. This year I decided to make this traditional dish in an untraditional way.

In many ways cranberry sauce has a similar flavour to Caribbean sorrel and hibiscus drinks. Combining dried hibiscus leaves and red wine with orange peel and fresh cranberries created a sauce rich with flavour and subtle undertones. I can’t wait for this sauce to accompany my roasted turkey next week, even though it can’t be sliced into perfect cylindrical discs.  

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup red wine, I used Pinot Noir
¼ cup water
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 clove
1 Tbsp. dried hibiscus leaves
1 Tsp. orange zest
1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries

Place hibiscus leaves and clove on a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a tight bundle. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine orange juice, red wine, water and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Add hibiscus clove bundle to the liquid and boil for two minutes.

Stir orange zest into mixture and add cranberries. Bring mixture back to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 8 minutes until the liquid reduces. Pour cranberry sauce into a mason jar and let cool uncovered.

Store in the fridge for up to a week before Thanksgiving.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

A Tablespoon of Liz November 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

ooooohh… This looks so amazing! I love hibiscus… I bet it’s amazing with the cranberry!


Laurie November 15, 2011 at 9:52 am

I’d do this using a bag of Red Zinger tea (Celestial seasonings) since it has hibiscus (and citrus) in it- a little easier than trying to find bulk hibiscus leaves. You can find it in any grocery store. It’s delicious- I’ve always got it on hand.


munchinwithmunchkin November 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

That’s a great tip Laurie! Thanks. If you are having difficulty finding hibiscus leaves try looking at your local health food store. Mexican or Caribbean grocery stores also carry them and it tends to be cheaper. If you are in Texas, you can get them at Fiesta.


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