Looking for a new twist on homemade applesauce? Try our cranberry applesauce with its gorgeous jewel color and delicious flavor. You'll love it with ham, pork chops, latkes, turkey, or just by itself!
The ingredients for our cranberry applesauce recipe are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Apples: We used four tart apples like Granny Smith. We left the peels on and then cored and quartered them.
- Cranberries: We used frozen cranberries because they are easy to find, but using fresh cranberries would be perfect.
- Spices: For our spiced sachet, we used one cinnamon stick, pickling spice, and ginger root.
- Sweetener: We used brown sugar, but you could substitute that with the sweetener of your choice.
- Acid: We used apple cider vinegar to give it some zing.
- Don't have any apple juice? Use apple cider, cranberry juice, or orange juice.
- Want other add-ins? Try strips of orange and lemon peel.
- Don't want to add sugar? Leave it out. If necessary, add one tablespoon of your favorite sweetener after it's done cooking.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for our cranberry applesauce recipe.
- To make the spice sachet, cut a square piece of cheesecloth. Add 2 teaspoons of pickling spices, one cinnamon stick, and one inch of peeled fresh ginger.
- Gather up the ends and tie it securely with a piece of kitchen string.
3. Prep the apples by washing, coring, and quartering them. Place the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, and kosher salt into the pot, then stir in the apple juice and apple cider vinegar.
4. Nestle the spice sachet into the apples, then cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn the heat down to medium low, and let the apples cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until soft.
5. Discard the pickling sachet.
6. Puree the apple cranberry mixture in small batches in a blender, food processor, immersion blender, or food mill.
7. Serve warm or cold with baked ham, pork chops, latkes, or just eat by itself as a snack or for dessert. This recipe is a pleasant twist to the traditional. If your kids love applesauce, you'll have to try this cranberry version.
Our favorite apples to use are Granny Smith because they have such a nice tart flavor but you can also use Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Jonathon, Rome, and Cortland.
Yes, you can freeze regular and cranberry applesauce for up to two months. First, cool completely on the counter, then pour into an airtight container. Remember to leave a ½ inch headspace to allow for expansion.
It will last 10 days to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Also, since homemade cranberry applesauce has no preservatives in it, it is best not to keep it out of refrigeration for more than two hours. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers from a holiday meal.
Yes, you can. First, core and quarter the apples (no need to peel them) and place them in the slow cooker. Make the spice sachet as shown in the pictures. Then add the fresh or frozen cranberries, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and kosher salt to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Nestle in the spice sachet, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 4 hours, stirring twice. When it's ready, remove the spice sachet and puree the cranberry applesauce with an immersion blender, food processor, food mill, or blender.
- Baked ham, roast pork, braised pork chops, pork sausages
- Latkes at Hanukkah
- Topping for oatmeal
- Topping for vanilla ice cream
- Use it as an alternative for cranberry sauce with roasted turkey
- Make Ahead: Cranberry applesauce is perfect to make ahead. Store it in the refrigerator for up to five days prior to serving.
- Reheat: To reheat, place the contents in a small saucepan and reheat on medium-low heat until hot, stirring frequently.
- Want to subtly change the taste? Use more than one kind of cooking apple.
- No time to puree? If you want a chunkier version, mash with a potato masher or the back of a large slotted spoon. Remove peels.
- Leave the skins on the apples. It makes it easier, quicker, and provides more fiber - just make sure to puree.
- Is yours too watery? Leave the lid off and let some of the liquid evaporate while the pot simmers on the stove.
- 1 pound of apples is equal to 2 large apples, 3 medium, or 5 small apples.
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Cranberry Applesauce Recipe
For the Spice Sachet
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice
- 1 small piece of ginger root, peeled
- piece of cheesecloth
- length of string for tying
- Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to hold the spices. Lay the cinnamon stick, pickling spices, and fresh ginger root on the cheesecloth, gather up the corners, and tie securely with string.
- Add the quartered apples, cranberries, brown sugar, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar to a Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Mix until combined.
- Place the spice sachet in the pan, cover, and bring to a boil. Then, turn the heat down and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the apples are very soft.
- Discard the sachet, then puree the apple-cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Do it in a few batches if you don't have a powerful blender.
- Pour the spiced applesauce into a serving bowl and serve warm with a baked spiral ham or pork chops.
- Core and quarter the apples (no need to peel them) and place them in the slow cooker. Make the spice sachet.
- Add the fresh or frozen cranberries, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and kosher salt to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Nestle in the spice sachet, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 4 hours, stirring twice.
- When it's ready, remove the spice sachet and puree the cranberry applesauce with an immersion blender, food processor, food mill, or blender.
- Use more than one kind of cooking apple for a subtle change in taste.
- If you want a chunkier version because of time, mash with a potato masher or the back of a large slotted spoon. Remove peels.
- If you choose to leave the skins on the apples make sure to puree.
- If you leave the lid off the pot and let some of the liquid evaporate while it simmers, it will thicken.
- 2 large apples, 3 medium, or 5 small apples are equal to 1 pound of apples.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.