Cranberry Sauce with Apples 

Cranberry Sauce with Apples 

 

This is the easiest recipe for cranberry sauce ever, with only two ingredients – three if you make the version with apples. Both are delicious!

 

Our side dishes for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners tend to be mostly traditional, and less sweet than “out in the world.” No marshmallows on the sweet potatoes – they are sweet enough these days. I always make my own pumpkin pie so it can be vegan and gluten-free, and I use little coconut sugar. And the cranberry sauce I have made for years, since deciding that my whole-berry sauce was better than anything in a can.

 

easy cranberry sauce with apples ingredients on table

 

So, when I announced that for this year’s Thanksgiving, I was making homemade cranberry sauce with apples, there were mixed reactions. One of my eaters asked me to make some “regular” by which he meant with no apples, so I did that too. Both were delicious! And so easy that I was able to make both to serve with our meal without going too crazy.

 

You almost don’t need a recipe, since the sauce is the result of cooking, sweetening and mashing the cranberries. It’s really about the proportions of sugar to fruit, and apples to cranberries. 

 

easy cranberry sauce with apples ingredients in saucepan easy cranberry sauce with apples in saucepan

 

As you see, these photos are from the “apple” batch. I used a bit of both Jonathan and Cox’s Pippin apples, since that was what I had. I’m fortunate to still have a few wonderful local Colorado apples left that I bought at the South Pearl Street Farmer’s market. They are getting a little wrinkly so I was happy to give them life in this side dish. 

 

You can tell which is which because the sauce with apples is garnished with – you guessed it, apples – and the one “without” has the little sprig of rosemary.

 

easy cranberry sauce with apples in small bowls

 

Do you need to add sugar?

 

Cranberries are tart! You will need some sweetener but you can use what you prefer such as agave, white or brown, coconut sugar, etc. I used light brown organic sugar because I didn’t want the molasses flavor from the darker sugars in this sauce. 

 

I also could have added oranges, or juice, or cinnamon, but I didn’t – family preference. Dishes with oranges, marmalade, etc., are delicious, but I consider those to be a cranberry relish rather than the “pure” cranberry sauce.

 

Other recipes I found in browsing called for a little more sugar than I like – you can always add more if you have a sweeter “tooth” than I have. 

 

I preferred the apple version to the all-berry version and will certainly make it again. The apples lend their own sweetness, so you can reduce the amount of added sugar. Less sugar added is always a win in my book! 

 

easy cranberry sauce with apples in small bowls

 

Should you freeze your berries?

 

If you do buy fresh cranberries, either make your sauce right away and freeze it, or freeze the berries right away. The longer the berries sit without being frozen, even if refrigerated, the more softened or browned berries you’ll need to pick out before making your sauce. 

 

easy cranberry sauce with apples in small bowls

 

Can I use a slow-cooker for this recipe?

 

Of course, especially if your other pans are busy! Simply let the mixture slow-cook on high heat for 4 hours, then mash. If the mixture is not as thick as you’d like, leave the slow-cooker open with the heat on low, being sure to stir every 20 minutes or so. It will thicken as it cools, too.

 

If you make this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment! I love to hear what you thought and how it went.

 

Beth

 

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easy cranberry sauce with apples in small bowls pinterest image2 easy cranberry sauce with apples in small bowls pinterest image

 

Other recipes you may like

How to Make Apple Butter (Vegan, Paleo)

Easy Apple Chutney

Sunflower-Tahini Fruit-Sweetened Baked Apples

 

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easy cranberry sauce with apples in small bowl

Cranberry Sauce with Apples 

  • Author: Beth Allingham
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish, sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is the easiest recipe for cranberry sauce ever, with only two ingredients – three if you make the version with apples. Both are delicious!


Scale

Ingredients

With apples

  • ½ to ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 (12 ounce) package (about 3 cups) fresh cranberries, picked over
  • 1 cup cooking apples, peeled (optional), cored and diced. I like to use Jonathan or Cox’s Pippin if I have any left over from the Fall apple season. If not, Granny Smith work well.

Without apples

  • ¾ to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (12 ounce) package (about 3 cups) fresh cranberries, picked over

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water, and cranberries to a simmer. 
  2. If making the apple version, stir them in. Simmer until the fruits are soft enough to mash, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a vegetable masher, mash to your desired consistency. If it is not yet as thick as you’d like, heat on low. The sauce will also thicken slightly upon cooling. 
  4. Pack into jars. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Freeze it if you will not be consuming it during that time.

Keywords: cranberry sauce, easy recipe, apples, fresh cranberries, stovetop, slow cooker option, vegan, low sugar, Thanksgiving side dish

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