Before you turn up your nose at the very thought of cranberry sauce, you have to try this one! I will gladly take credit for converting many naysayers from the traditional sauce in a can after they have tasted mine. Although, I have to say, canned cranberry sauce as we know it from our childhood still makes an appearance at my Thanksgiving table – for nostalgic reasons if nothing else. Admit it, there’s something cute about the canned stuff and being able to slice it using the rings from the side of the can as a guide. I get it.
I really worked at perfecting this recipe from a texture standpoint. It is so good that I make it throughout the year. I spread it on toast, use it as a topping on whole wheat pancakes, as a glaze for chicken, I mix it with cream cheese for crackers or veggie dip, and I serve it warm as a dipper with a brie grilled cheese sandwich. Yes, it’s that good! At Thanksgiving and Christmas, I just put it on my yeast roll with butter as my dessert! It’s ridiculous, really.
You can easily make this recipe your own by replacing the apples with pears, you can add pecans or raisins, you can leave out the mashing step if you like it chunkier, you can add marshmallows and make a salad using this cooled recipe instead of gelatin, or you can add all kinds of spices. It also gives you the chance to break out your immersion blender or potato masher. I know, we’re ALL looking for reasons to dust those babies off! This reason is easy and DELISH!
1 cup sugar
2 cups orange juice, good quality (I like orange juice with pulp)
1 large bag fresh cranberries, about 12 ounces
2 fuji apples, cored & chopped with skin on
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
Pour sugar and orange juice in a tall sauce pan and stir until boiling and sugar has melted. Add fresh cranberries. Be careful – cranberries will pop open as they cook! Cook until most of the cranberries have popped open – about 12 minutes. Add chopped apples and cinnamon. Cook for 5-7 minutes until apples soften a little but are not mushy (unless you want it mushy). Turn off heat. Use potato masher or immersion blender to break up sauce until desired consistency. At the end, stir in dried cranberries or raisins for added texture! The sauce will thicken as it cools. Enjoy!