Enjoy a delicious side dish with Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce, made with fresh ingredients.
One of our favorite side dishes for holiday dinners, Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce.
Growing up my grandma ALWAYS had to have her cranberry sauce for holiday dinners, but I’ll tell you what I thought it was so GROSS! Why? It always came out of a can. It reminds me of something that would come out of your body…like a blood clot? Keep in mind this is not the whole cranberries, whole cranberries canned isn’t so bad, it’s the jellied canned cranberries.
I know it’s terrible, but that’s what I always associated cranberry sauce with. Then, one year I realized I forgot to buy my grandma her cranberry sauce and we were hosting Thanksgiving. I did have some whole cranberries on hand though, so I was able to whip up such a great cranberry sauce that I’ve been sold on it ever since.
It’s so easy and maybe a recipe that you’ve had for years too, it’s pretty common; however, if you are like me and years ago were just learning to cook, maybe it’s not common to you.
I actually originally shared a cranberry sauce recipe back in 2010. That’s how old this blog is; however, I’ve updated it and recreated it over the years with fresh, delicious ingredients. I’ve also adapted the base of this recipe to be more of a spiced apple flavor.
My next step is trying to figure out how to cut out some of the sugar. Any ideas? I’d love to hear them.
What does it mean for cranberries to pop?
The key to the cooking time for Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce is to be sure that the cranberries pop, this means that they open up and the pectin from the cranberries mixes into the water.
The above picture shows them before the pop, right after going into the pan with water and sugar.
How long do you cook cranberry sauce?
It really does not take much more than 20 minutes, but you do need to account for time for the sauce to chill in the fridge.
The cranberries usually will pop after about 10-15 minutes on a low boil, once this happens you simply stir for about 5 more minutes and remove the sauce from the heat.
As the apple cranberry sauce cools in the fridge it will gel up, not like jello but enough to make it a nice consistency for your holiday dinner. It will be more of a jam consistency than jello. This is actually a wonderful topping on an English Muffin!
I also find that the granny smith apples are the best choice for this sauce, be sure to peel them and chop them.
Can you make Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce in the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi?
This is the best part because you can make Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce in either your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi by using the saute function.
I find this especially helpful because when I am cooking for Thanksgiving or Christmas, my stove gets pretty full. It’s also best to make this earlier in the day, even the day before so that it gets nice and cold in the fridge.
How long will Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce last in the fridge?
Be sure that you store it in the fridge in an air-tight container, it will typically last up to 2 weeks. We prefer to use it within about 8-10 days.
Are you ready for your holiday dinner? It’s time to enjoy this Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce.
Be sure to find more holiday recipes with these Thanksgiving Recipes.
Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 12 oz Fresh Cranberries
- 2 Granny Smith Apples Peeled and Chopped
- 1/8 Tsp AllSpice
- 1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
- Chopped Pecans Optional
- Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan, bringing it to a low boil.
- Once boiling, add in the cranberries and apples, stir well.
- Mix in the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Let this stay on a low-boil for 20 minutes - stirring occasionally.
- The cranberries will begin to pop.
- Remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes to thicken.
- Pour into a refrigerator safe dish and chill for 2-3 hours.
- Serve topped with nuts if preferred.
did you make this recipe?
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Comments & Reviews
So what did your grandma say about eating fresh cranberry sauce vs. canned cranberry sauce?
As for reducing the sugar, I had two thoughts. 1. I know some people steep stevia leaves when they make iced tea to sweeten the tea. I wonder if it could work in this recipe. or 2. You could try substituting apple juice for some or all of the water and perhaps remove the sugar altogether. It might take some experimenting I know in my canning cookbook they don’t recommend reducing the sugar when making jams and jellies because it could keep it from setting.
Mommy Hates Cooking says
She actually really liked it fresh too! lol
Thanks for the suggestions those are great ideas, I like Stevia too so that may work. I was thinking along the lines too of what you mention in the canning cookbook b/c of it needing to set too. I’m going to have to experiment with it. For now, though, we love this recipe with the sugar, which probably isn’t too bad since we don’t eat it all at once. 🙂