Blackberry Cranberry Sauce

To be honest, cranberry sauce is not something I have ever noticed at Thanksgiving in the past.  I couldn’t tell you whether the kind served was homemade or the jelly in the shape of a can.  It just didn’t interest me at all.  But when I saw this blackberry cranberry sauce last year, I was all ears.  And not only that, it made me really want to host my own Thanksgiving.  When I found out that I actually would be hosting this year, I immediately knew I would be making this sauce.  And as if it were written in the stars, blackberries were on sale for 99¢ a container – sweet!  The blackberries added a nice complexity to the flavor, and this sauce could be good in so many capacities – on turkey, on a panini, for dipping pumpkin yeast bread, or some other fabulous way I have yet to try!

Now, I have to say that I wasn’t thrilled with the recipe itself once I started making it.  The sauce wasn’t thickening up at all.  I ended up adding a slurry of cornstarch and water to help thicken my sauce, and it seemed to do the trick.  Unfortunately, I do not have an exact measurement for the amount of water that should be added, but I have done my best to write the recipe as clearly as possible so hopefully there won’t be too much room for error here.

Blackberry Cranberry Sauce
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12 oz. fresh cranberries
2 cups blackberries
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water

Place cranberries in a medium saucepan.  Add water to the pan, just under 1-inch deep (berries do not need to be completely covered.)  Heat over medium-high heat until the berries begin to pop.  Cook a few minutes more, until most of the skins have popped.  Gently stir in the blackberries, sugar, salt and allspice.  In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and whisk together until smooth.  Add the mixture to the pan with the berries and stir to incorporate.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce has thickened.  Smash the berries a bit while you stir, leaving some berries intact for a chunkier texture.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.  The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Source: adapted from Baking Bites

11 Responses

  1. I usually use the basic cranberry sauce recipe on the package of whole berries, which calls for boiling the water and cranberries together with 1 cup of sugar. I’m wondering if boiling the sugar helps thicken the texture, by making it more syrupy? (I usually substitute 1 cup of apple cider for the 1 cup of water, just to give a little more flavor to the basic recipe.)

  2. It’s odd that the sauce wouldn’t thicken without cornstarch. Cranberries are a very high pectin fruit. Once the sauce reduces to a fairly thick consistency, it should have ‘set up’ to a jammy state upon cooling to room temp. Maybe it was the blackberries–those are ‘low pectin’ fruits and cranberry sauces typically incorporate other high pectin fruits like citrus–but the amount of cranberries and sugar should have compensated for that. Odd.

    I’ve noticed that when I make a sauce (any sauce) with cornstarch, leftovers have a weird consistency. I recently changed to using Clear-Jel, a special type of cornstarch often used in home preserving, and found that the consistency of favorite leftovers (mmm…gravy) is just as good as freshly-made.

    • My leftovers didn’t have a weird consistency at all despite the cornstarch. It tasted just as good as when it was freshly made.

  3. Just when I thought my cranberry sauce was the best… you had to show me up with the blackberries! Awww – okay, I’ll give this a try next Thanksgiving! And that is SUCH A CUTE pink bowl!

  4. Unfortunately cranberry is really difficult to get around here. I wish I could make such a sauce too.

  5. Thank you,


  6. Do you think this would be good over a brick of cream cheese as a dip? Maybe with some red pepper flakes in it to add some spice?

    • Shelbi, I’m not sure it’s thick enough for a dip. And personally, I really don’t think the red pepper flakes would go at all. I think it would be a gross combo.

    • @Shelbi

      I think it would be great over cream cheese and I actually came here looking for a recipe that incorporated Cranberries, Black Berries and Jalapeno peppers! I am going to use this recipe and add on diced jalapeno to it to give it some kick!


  7. This was really good! Not as thick as just cranberry sauce but I actually didn’t mind that at all. I’ll be making this every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. It made quite a bit so next year I’ll probably half the recipe. Thanks so much for the recipe. 🙂

  8. I made this sauce last week for Thanksgiving, and I have to tell you…it was incredible! And I don’t even like cranberry sauce that much. AND my somewhat-picky boyfriend told me this was the best cranberry sauce he’s ever had. Thanks!

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