cardamom-spiced cranberry sauce

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3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
11 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen, about 3 1/2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


  1. Combine the sugar, lemon juice, water, cranberries, and cardamom. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes for fresh, 5 minutes for frozen. Stop cooking as soon as the cranberries break down into a bright red sauce, with a few chunks remaining.
  2. Chill for at least 3 hours and serve cold or at room temperature.