I had the pleasure of dining with Erik earlier this year for Canadian Thanksgiving. Yes, we Canucks celebrate “Turkey Day” much earlier than my American friends. I suppose we need the additional time to digest before the big event in December. But I digress.

So back to Erik, my new favorite Turkey Day dining buddy. Erik, a retired elementary school teacher, has been bitten by the culinary bug during his time away from school bells and report cards. During dinner he introduced me to his scholarly homemade cranberry sauce recipe. Since I’ve only ever had cranberry sauce out of a can, I was stunned by the deliciousness of fresh cranberries mixed with sweet pears and a hint of anise. Needless to say, I’ll never spend my dollars dining on canned cranberry sauce again. And neither should you.

cranberry sauce cranberry sauce recipe

After giving Erik an A+ on his cranberry contributions, I begged him to share the secrets to his sauce. Being the sly Fox that I am, I have full permission to post the recipe for you. The ingredients are simple and the instructions are straightforward. It’s basically a three-step process to make the perfect homemade cranberry sauce. Hopefully, the results won’t send you to the Principal’s office.


  • 1 bag cranberries
  • 2 pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or less)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/2 tsp anise seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick


1. In a pot bring the sugar, orange juice, orange zest, honey, anise, and cinnamon to a boil. Simmer carefully for 3-6 minutes. Let sugars melt together.

leftover cranberry relish

2. Add cranberries to the mixture and simmer for 2 minutes. The cranberries will make a popping sound as they simmer.

leftover cranberry relish cranberry sauce recipe

3. Add pears to the mixture and simmer the sauce until the cranberries have reached desired tenderness.

homemade cranberry sauce cranberry sauce recipe relish

Enjoy fresh cranberry sauce with dinner!

homemade cranberry sauce cranberry sauce recipe

A huge thank you to Erik for introducing me to this recipe. Another huge thank you to my sister-in-law Kate for the Thanksgiving invite and for sharing her father’s talent with the family.

Your Turn: Do you make your own cranberry sauce or are you stuck in a can?