Cranberry Port Gelée. A.T.

The older I get, the less consistently I floss.  I also worry less about butter than about sinking coastlines and the state of honeybee hives.  So much of our future is unknown.  All of it, in fact. 

So you might as well eat happily.  And this includes bringing the cranberry sauce. Life is too short to eat something congealed from a can. 

Especially if you live in New England.  And have twenty minutes to spare.

The recipe is a Canal House classic.  Mix in a few arguably unusual ingredients.  Juniper berries.  Black peppercorns.  Fortified wine.  Then cook down some native fruit and strain and chill.  And, ta da, you have a new standby.  Plus an excuse to open a bottle of port. 

So please forgive the inappropriate timing.  Quite the nerve coming to you the morning after Thanksgiving, I know.  But there was a turkey to cook. And flossing to neglect. And—as my brother and I established with our oven timeline yesterday—there’s a clear linear delineation of B.T. and A.T. 

Before Turkey.  And After Turkey.

This means Before Turkey is behind us. But we have a whole world of After Turkey yet to discover.  And in this time I suggest, at some point, you make cranberry gelée.  It’s intriguingly floral and yet not too much of a departure for the traditionalists. 

Because cranberries can exist more than once a year.   And you just might need something for your turkey sandwich today.

Cranberry Port Gelée
Adapted by Food52 and the Canal House


1 cup port
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp juniper berries
10 black peppercorns
pinch of salt
1-12 ounce bag of cranberries


In a medium saucepan, place the port, sugar, juniper, peppercorns and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cranberries and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the berries burst and soften (about 10 to 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Using a wire mesh sieve, strain the solids into a bowl. With a rubber spatula, press to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Towards the end the liquid will get thicker.  Stir the extracted thin and thick solids together.

Pour into a serving dish and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill until firm and ready to serve (at least a few hours or overnight).

Makes between 1 to 2 cups (depending on how long the cranberries are cooked)


-Red wine could also be employed in place of the port.


  1. I am a New England native too and this sounds delicious!

  2. I was just saying the other day that life is too short to eat low fat cheese, and now I am adding "life is too short to eat something congealed from a can" to my favorite food philosophies ;)

  3. Kelly-We are so lucky to have cranberries so close by. ;)

    Bianca-We are totally on the same wavelength when it comes to learned foodie lessons. ;)