Apple Cranberry Sauce that Didn’t Slide From a Can

Apple Cranberry Sauce is something unique that you can add to your holiday table this year and avoid the gelatinous creature that slides from a can every holiday meal.

I’m not crazy about cranberry sauce in the first place. Cranberries are very tart and sour. That’s why they’re combined with sugars and corn syrups, binders, and preservatives before being molded into the shape of a can.

Rather than eating what the cranberry cannery is serving up, I choose to make my own cranberry sauce with ingredients that I like. Apples will add a natural sweetness to the tart cranberries while contributing a special flavor to the otherwise one-dimensional side dish.

After peeling 3 Granny Smith Apples and cutting them into cubes, I add a 6 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, and a ½ cup of dried cranberries to a stove-top sauce pan. Under direct heat, the cranberries and apples will release moisture, making a chunky fruit compote.

Perhaps you like your apple cranberry sauce very chunky. That’s fine, you can leave it as is. For me, I prefer a smoother side dish, so the heated fruit is added to my food processor. After a few pulses, I have the texture and consistency I’m looking for.

All I have to do now is adjust seasonings. Keeping with the holiday flavor profile, I like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in my new creation.

It’s just that simple to avoid canned cran this holiday season. If you can peel and cut an apple, open a bag of cranberries, and heat the items together until soft, you can create an apple cranberry sauce that will beat the carved turkey for the center of the table.

Apples aren’t the only thing you can add to sweeten cranberries. Leave a comment with your suggestion:

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.


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  • cheftodd
    6:46 PM - 27 November, 2010

    It's so hard to break from old traditions, and sometimes it's not even necessary to do so.
    That sliding thing from the can has to be changed.

    Good for you for having the courage to try. Success only comes with risk.

  • WickedLissa
    3:31 PM - 27 November, 2010

    Amazing! Used just two apples and crushed whole allspice w/ the m&p and sprinkled a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg as you suggested and everyone who had it said best cranberry sauce they ever had. I told them it was thanks to you, Chef Todd! Thanks for the great new addition of a tradition for our feast!

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