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Cranberry Rum Sauce

Posted by Heather Atwood

This sauce is like the chunky jewelry version of a dessert topping, and it’s knockout with a simple black dress version of a slice of chocolate cake.  

By adding rum and vanilla to a traditional cranberry sauce, this uber-local ingredient’s possibilities extend far beyond November. 

Cranberries are a kind of Cinderella story.  Stuck in a bog, allowed out only at Thanksgiving, cranberries have only a fleeting moment to impress upon anyone their dessert-worthiness.  Meanwhile, that trollop raspberry trounces around all year acting as if she were chocolate’s one and only.  Yet, excellent quality cranberries are available fresh for a good part of the year, and frozen all year.  Cranberries are almost one hundred times less perishable than raspberries, and at least ten times less expensive. 

I say move over raspberries; cranberries have de-throwned you as the singular berry with which to top a flourless chocolate cake or smother a bowl of vanilla ice cream.  

In case you don’t believe me, the paparazzi getting ready to make this cranberry sauce famous.  Don't believe me? Watch for the recipe video this January.

Cranberry Rum Sauce topping a cake.

 Cranberry Rum Sauce (makes 2 cups)


2 cups of cranberries

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup rum

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt


Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer of medium heat.  Simmer five minutes, or until the cranberries are popped and integrated into the liquid.  Serve warm or at room temperature.