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Boozy Cranberry Conserve Recipe

We’re sharing a great recipe with you this week that is not from the Starky Test Kitchen; it’s an old family recipe that has been made for many years in our own kitchen at home.  I suppose most Americans consume cranberry sauce about once a year as an obligatory part of the Thanksgiving dinner. This cranberry conserve recipe takes the average cran sauce to new & delicious places and can be served in a variety of different ways at any time of year.  It’s also so ridiculously easy.  Our family cannot get enough of this marvelous, tart, sweet, boozy condiment. Now we’re sharing it with you…your guests will devour it!

cranberry conserve prep


1 package fresh cranberries (or frozen, we always have a bag or two in the freezer)
1 cup sugar
Juice and zest of 1 medium sized orange
1/2 cup golden raisins (don’t skip these, it’s worth the trip to the market to get the golden raisins instead of regular brown raisins)
1 ripe pear, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 big apple, peeled, seeded and chopped (Gala is nice for this as it maintains its shape)
1/4 cup Orange Liquor (we used Patron Orange)

Pour the cranberries and fresh orange juice into a 4 quart sauce pan. Pour the sugar over the top and give it a good stir. Turn the burner to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally as it starts to bubble. When the berries start to release their juices, add the golden raisins, apples and pears. Turn heat to low and let the sauce bubble gently for about 10 minutes. With a potato masher, give the mixture some gentle squishes until the cranberries give way to sauciness. Pull an apple piece out and taste to make sure it is tender and the tartness/sweetness ratio is in check.

Mash those cranberries

Remove the mixture from heat, add the zest and the orange liquor and stir well. If you are concerned about the alcohol content, just add the liquor at the beginning of the cooking process and the alcohol will cook out leaving just orange flavor behind. However, we love the kick of the liquor and always add it at the end; it’s so luscious.  Your conserve is now finished.  Let it cool and store in the refrigerator until needed.

This sauce can be made two days in advance; give it a good stir before serving as it will jell up nicely. Serve it cold, warm, or room temperature. Now you have the perfect cranberry dish for your Thanksgiving table. But just in case you are like us and adore cranberries all year long, here’s a short list of other cranberry conserve uses:
• Serve Conserve a long side roasted pork loin, pork roast or chicken (see photo below)
• Run the Conserve through a food processor to make an outstanding glaze for any roasted meats or salmon; we add a little Sriracha to spice it up sometimes.
• Top waffles or pancakes with the Conserve and REAL maple syrup.
• Serve Conserve with sliced roast turkey for the BEST EVER turkey sandwich! Try a little horseradish sauce too.
• Serve Conserve with brie or goat cheese and rye toasts.

This makes a wonderful gift too, everyone will be so impressed with your clever cooking!

Cranberry Conserve & Pork Loin
From the exceptional staff at Starky’s, we wish you a Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned for details on New Year’s Eve Dinner Menus and Holiday Promotions. Stay warm & cook great food!  Love, The Starky’s Test Kitchen & Sunday Chef