Monday, November 18, 2013

Tart & spicy cranberry-apple sauce

Cranberry sauce with no added sugar or sweetener is a challenge. Those berries are so incredibly tart that you generally need to add lots of extra sweetness to compensate. The only other option really is to combine them with another naturally-sweeter fruit and reduce the overall proportion of cranberries. Hence, cranberry apple sauce was born. I've been making applesauce in my crock pot fairly regularly, and it's so easy to do. Adding cranberries to the mix worked beautifully, and I also added some warm spices at the end for a bit of extra flavor depth.
I happen to be a fan of the weird jellied cranberry sauces that comes from a can, and I wondered if perhaps I could also use this as a base to make my own. I added gelatin along with cran-apple juice and poured it into mini-bundt molds, although a loaf pan would also work for serving it in slices. As a bonus, this was sweeter due to the added juice. The fresh cranberry-apple sauce is still a bit tart, but that's just the reality of cranberries. Make it either way you like!

Makes about a quart


  • 3 lbs apples (I'd use a sweet variety)
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed and bruised ones removed
  • 1&1/4 cups cranberry-apple juice (read your labels, I used a brand that was 100% juice)
  • 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (optional)
  1. Peel, core, and slice your apples. I peel them with a vegetable peeler, scoop out the stem and bottom ends with a tomato huller, cut them in half lengthwise, and use a melon baller to scoop out the core. Then I cut each half again so I have quarters and either slice thinly by hand or run them through a food processor fit with a slicing disk.
  2. Combine the apples, cran-apple juice, and cranberries in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, stirring once halfway through.
  3. Add the spices, if desired, and mash with a potato masher until as smooth as you can get it.
VARIATION: JELLIED CRANBERRY-APPLE SAUCE: While the sauce is still hot from the crock pot, measure out 3 cups  and combine it with 5 tsp gelatin (preferably grass-fed such as this brand). If using packets such as Knox, use 5 tsp = 2 packets. Whisk it together thoroughly. Add 3 cups cold cranberry-apple juice and whisk until combined. Pour into a 9x5 loaf pan lined with plastic wrap or a ring mold or a bundt pan. Let chill overnight or until set.


Network Esquire said...
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Network Esquire said...

my life it's indispensable.

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