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Spiced Cranberry, Ginger, and Pear Sauce [Vegan]

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For years, as a child at the 1970s American Thanksgiving table, I too believed that cranberry sauce was always cylindrically shaped, with neatly organized parallel rings encompassing it. That little wobbly dish seemed a required fixture on the holiday table, that someone might very well miss if absent. Though it felt far from “food” and as a result, usually went untouched.

Drawing on ideas of recipes like a sour cherry sauce, or a deeply flavored Indian chutney, I came up with my own condiment that I would actually want to add to my holiday meal to enhance its flavor, not mask it. I eliminated a lot of the sugar found in most cranberry sauce recipes (up to a cup of white sugar was common). It’s on the tart end of the spectrum, but balanced, with lovely spice notes that will be beautiful with the richness of holiday dishes. I think it would also be outstanding dolloped on top of a bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast, and pretty great pureed and used as a base for a holiday prosecco cocktail.

Spiced Cranberry, Ginger, and Pear Sauce [Vegan]

This Recipe is :

Dairy Free Vegan


2 1/2 cups


  • 12 ounces (3 cups) fresh cranberries
  • 2 bosc pears, very ripe, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 three inch cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup agave


  1. Combine cranberries, pear, ginger, water, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, and cardamom in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  After about 5 minutes, add the honey.  Cook for about 5 minutes more, until the berries have collapsed and the pear had started to breakdown and dissolve.
  2. Will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, and will also freeze well.
  3. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.





Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the big city and the bigger country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory and her Grand Diplôme from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. She is found most regularly at Pitchfork Diaries.



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One comment on “Spiced Cranberry, Ginger, and Pear Sauce [Vegan]”

Click to add comment
Sharon Hennessy
4 Years Ago

Wow - looks fabulous.


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