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Make Ahead Brandy Cranberry Sauce

“Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away so you better start planning now,” says a huge procrastinator.  Umm – that would be me.

I know – it’s so unlike me to plan 2 weeks in advance but these next 2 weeks are full of deadlines, meetings, basketball games, band concerts and parent/teacher conferences.  So I am trying to think ahead of what I can make up now and throw in the freezer until Turkey day arrives.

Last year, my friend Marny shared this recipe with me and I have to say, I kind of liked it.  We don’t eat cranberries that often in our house and normally on Thanksgiving day, we serve the jellied can kind.  You know what I’m talking about. The perfect cylinder with ridges all around of jellied cranberries. 

But last year I was determined to go out of my normal routine and try a homemade cranberry sauce.  I think part of the appeal here is the booze, but you can certainly leave it out if you wish or use less.

These are so simple that you will want to make these more often than just Thanksgiving or Christmas.  You just take your cranberries and sugar and mix well in a baking pan.  Put into a 300 degree oven for 1 hour; stirring them often so the berries cook through evenly and the syrup gets mixed around.


When they are done baking, put into a bowl or sauce pan, add the brandy, stir well and serve.

Now I’m making these up 2 weeks in advance and freezing them.  Marny suggested that I freeze the cooked berries without the brandy in it.  When I go to heat it up on Turkey day, I’ll add the brandy then.  You can easily make these up a day or two ahead of time and just keep them in the fridge as well.  I did that last year.  Just add the brandy and heat them up right before your Thanksgiving Feast is served.

So tell me, what kind of family are you?  A jellied can cranberry family or a cooked cranberry sauce family?

Brandy Cranberry Sauce

When making ahead do everything except adding the brandy. On turkey day reheat cranberry sauce and at that time add the brandy. I double this recipe but cut back a little on sugar and brandy. Then after the reheat and adding the brandy I usually let it sit a while so it’s not too hot when serving.

Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


4 cups fresh cranberries washed
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup brandy


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In baking dish, mix cranberries and sugar.
Place in a single layer onto a baking sheet.
Bake 1 hour in oven, stirring often.
Remove from oven and put in bowl or sauce pan. Stir in brandy and serve.

My dear friend, Marny Gillen


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2 Responses to “Make Ahead Brandy Cranberry Sauce”

  1. #
    Marlys — November 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I always make fresh cranberry sauce – this looks interesting & will add it to my collection!

  2. #
    Michelle — November 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Oh my goodness do this sound delicious. I’ve always wanted to make homemade cranberry sauce and I will definitely give this one a try.Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.