Candace Karu

Cranberry Heart Tarts

RecipesCandace1 Comment

Do you know anyone who is indifferent on the subject of cranberry sauce? I don't. Really, people seem to either love it or hate it. There are even people who adore that stuff that comes in a can, slithering and wobbling onto the Thanksgiving table. Though if you ask me, it should have a name unto itself, one that doesn't malign by association the noble cranberry and its resulting sauce.

I spent the first four decades of my life solidly in the "hate it" camp, but somehow in middle-age I was mysteriously transformed into a lover, nay, a connoisseur, of cranberry concoctions.

And as a cranberry condiment lover, each year at the holidays I make a sauce that is, if I do say so myself, nonpareil. Sweet and tart, with depth and complexity, this is a truly remarkable version of an age-old standby. Because I am generous by nature and a cranberry proselytizer to boot, I'm going to share my recipe with you.

And even if you aren't a fan, you may want to keep reading, because at the end of this post I'm going to teach you how to do something magically delicious with leftover cranberry sauce.

The World's Best (No, Really, It Is) Cranberry Sauce

1 12 ounce bag of cranberries

3/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup Port

1/3 cup ginger ale

1/3 cup pomegranate juice

Put the liquids in a saucepan over medium heat and dissolve the sugar. Stir in cranberries and cook until they begin to pop. This is fun, as the satisfying popping sound never fails to amuse. The entire process takes all of about 10 minutes. Let the whole mess cool and refrigerate until time to serve. If you're feeling frisky and want to throw all caution to the wind, toss in a handful of pomegranate seeds and mix it all up.

Now here's the good part.

This is an awesome recipe. It results in truly mind-boggling cranberry sauce. And yet, you will likely have some left over, due to overall lack of cranberry enthusiasm on the part of many of your dinner guests. Do not despair. Here is something you can do to melt the heart and tickle the tummy of even the most hardened cranberry hater.

Cranberry Heart Tarts

1 box of pre-made pie crusts

Leftover cranberry sauce (these are equally yummy using raspberry jam or fig spread)


Heart-shaped cookie cutter

Preheat over to 425º. Unroll pie crusts and cut out heart shapes.


Put a tiny dollop of cranberry on half the hearts. Don't overfill the hearts or you will have oozing issues. Top with the remaining hearts. Crimp edges together with fork tines.


Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle tops with a bit of sugar. OK, get festive and use that red sugar you probably have in the back of a cupboard somewhere. Cook until golden brown, about 15 minutes.


Let cool, then serve to all your friends, making sure to give first dibs to those who professed cranberry love before they tried these.

Say nanny nanny boo boo to all the haters who are scarfing down your heart tarts.

You're welcome.

P.S. You may want to put this on file for Valentines Day.