Maureen Abood's Cranberry Sauce

Recipe Corner: Maureen Abood’s Cranberry Sauce with Rose Water & Pistachios


“Cranberry sauce is such a natural with rose water, which brings out the cran-flavor and balances the sweet-tart beautifully. Be sure to use the rose water with restraint,” says Maureen Abood about this holiday recipe posted at her Middle Eastern website on November 14, 2017. See:

Maureen is a second-generation Lebanese American, and an expert in Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine.  Pomegranates and pistachios. Floral waters and cinnamon. Bulgur wheat, lentils, and succulent lamb. These lush flavors of Maureen’s childhood, growing up as a Lebanese-American in Michigan, inspired her to launch her award-winning blog, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, and write her acclaimed 2015 cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen.

Her culinary guides and inspiration, from grandparents to parents, cousins, and aunts, come alive in her stories. “Lebanese cuisine isn’t widely available in the United States, so Abood’s book is a splendid primer for those who want to learn more. The ingredients alone are intoxicating,” says The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“My website began as a blog where I wrote stories that expressed my culinary journey. I’ve been humbled by the ongoing overwhelming reception my book has received, especially because that means so many of us share the same passion for these recipes, stories, family, and gathering around the table together,” she adds.

“These tested recipes are made better with the right ingredients and tools. You’ll find opportunities to explore and buy my highly curated product collection throughout this website, including Lebanese olive oils, spices, flower waters, pomegranate molasses, preserves, and more.  Gift-giving is a favorite of our community, so you will always find a fresh and exciting collection of gifts to send to your people with pride and excitement.”

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A long-time writer and cook, Maureen’s work has been published extensively, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Saveur, and the Huffington Post. She furthered her passion for food at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco, from which she graduated in 2010.  Taking an ingredient-focused approach that makes the most of every season’s bounty, Maureen presents over 100 irresistible recipes in her cookbook that will delight readers with evocative flavors: Spiced Lamb Kofta Burgers, Avocado Tabbouleh in Little Gems, and Pomegranate Rose Sorbet.  There are the touching stories of Maureen’s Lebanese-American upbringing, the path that led her to culinary school and to launch her blog, and life in Harbor Springs, her lakeside Michigan town.

“Take it ever so easy on the rose water — it is meant to bring out the flavor of the sauce rather than stand out on its own.  Add the rose water, then taste, then add more if you like.  This is a perfect make-ahead dish for any occasion or holiday, as it is best served chilled and will hold in the refrigerator for a week,” says Maureen.



1 cup sugar*

1 cup water

12 ounces cranberries

1/2 teaspoon rose water

1 cup (8 oz.) canned crushed pineapple or drained pineapple chunks

1 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or toasted walnuts, plus more for garnish


In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Stir in the cranberries and reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally and cooking until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens a bit, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and add the rose water, pineapple, and drained mandarin oranges.  Cool to room temperature, then chill completely (at least a couple of hours).  Immediately before serving, stir in the nuts and garnish with more nuts on top.

Serves 12.

*Note: Will honey work as a substitute for the sugar in this recipe?  Maureen says, “The honey will sweeten this nicely – a different flavor than granulated sugar. I can’t say about the consistency of the final result not having tested this. But it’s worth a try.”

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ORDER TODAY: Maureen Abood’s acclaimed Lebanese cookbook is a treasure trove of “Fresh and Classic Lebanese Recipes,” and the reviews have been superb across the country, including in the New York Times.  To order a signed copy of Rose Water & Orange Blossoms Cookbook, go to:

“Not nearly well known enough in this country, the rich and fragrant Lebanese cuisine finally gets this worthy representation both in the range of dishes presented and the gorgeous, mouth-watering illustrations of them.” – Mimi Sheraton, longtime food critic of the New York Times and author of 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die

“Maureen is a special kind of cookbook author – insightful, mindful of tradition, always appreciative. Rose Water and Orange Blossoms celebrates life, family, beautiful recipes, and Lebanese (culinary) food ways. She uniquely uses charm, experience, warmth, and evocative storytelling to invite us into the seductive realm of her Lebanese table – rose water, orange blossom, pomegranate, sumac, dates, and all.” – Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day





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