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All-Natural Homemade Apple-Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Updated on December 7, 2016
CatherineGiordano profile image

Catherine Giordano enjoys creating and sharing recipes for home cooks who want delicious results with a minimum of fuss.

All-Natural Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The humble cranberry is so good- tasting and so good-looking and so good-for-you that I wrote a poem about it: The Ode to the Cranberry. The all-natural Apple-Cranberry Sauce with Raisins and Maple Syrup with no added sugar is so good that even people who hate cranberry sauce love it. It's been wowing my Thanksgiving guests for years. I will also share a few tips for using leftover cranberry sauce.

Apple-Cranberry Sauce with Raisins and Maple Syrup

Serve the Apple Cranberry Sauce in a pretty glass bowl.
Serve the Apple Cranberry Sauce in a pretty glass bowl. | Source

Before we get to the recipe, let's start with a few facts about cranberries.

A Cranberry Bog

Cranberries grow on vines in marshy areas.
Cranberries grow on vines in marshy areas. | Source

What are Super-Foods?

Antioxidants inhibit the formation of free-radicals in the body. These free-radicals can cause cell-death and inflammation in the body. This inflammation can inhibit the immune system leading to disease.

The so-called “super-foods” inhibit the oxidation that leads to free radicals. Cranberries are high in anti-oxidants, as are apples, berries, beans and some other foods.

What Are Cranberries?

Cranberries are a healthy anti-oxidant rich super-food.

Cranberries are grown in sandy bogs and marshes in the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere They grow on low creeping evergreen shrubs or vines up to about seven feet long and about two to eight inches in height.

The flowers are dark pink and are fertilized by bees.The fruit is a berry that is initially white, but turns a deep red with fully ripe. It has an very acidic taste and thus requires sweetening when used in recipes.

The cranberry ripens in the fall, and is very popular as a side dish for Thanksgiving turkey as cranberry sauce. Many people say they hate cranberry sauce. What they mean is they hate the over-sweetened glop that comes in cans. Try the recipe below. I guarantee they will love it.

Fresh cranberries are also excellent in breads or pies. I make a wonderful cranberry orange breakfast bread every winter. I also make a quick cranberry pie using canned cherries and raw cranberries. If your store offers a buy-one-get-one-free special on cranberries, make sure to get your free bag of cranberries. They keep very well in the freezer until you are ready to use them for another recipe.

The cranberry is also processed into juice. If you buy cranberry juice in the store, be sure to read the label. You want cranberry juice that has been sweetened with apple juice or grape juice and not cane sugar or high fructose-corn syrup.

Apples and a Bag of Cranberries

Apples and cranberries go together perfectly.
Apples and cranberries go together perfectly. | Source

Ingredients for Apple Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 cups tart apples, (Cored, peeled and chopped)
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries, (1 12-ounce bag)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, About 2 to 3 inches long
  • 1 TBS arrowroot, (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Apple-Cranberry Sauce Ingredients in a Pot

The ingredients for Apple-Cranberry Sauce are placed in a pot.
The ingredients for Apple-Cranberry Sauce are placed in a pot. | Source

Instructions for Apple Cranberry Sauce

  1. Put the cranberries into a colander and rinse them. Pick over the cranberries to remove any stems or berries that are bruised
  2. Add the apples, cranberries, raisins, maple syrup, salt, cloves, and cinnamon stick to 2-quart pot.
  3. Let it come to a boil, and then reduce the heat so it boils slowly. Cover the pot and let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cranberries have burst open. Stir occasionally while cooking.
  4. Stir the arrowroot into the half cup of water until it is dissolved. Add it to the cranberry mixture in the pot and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. The mixture will be cloudy at first, and then it will turn bright red within about a minute.
  5. When it turns bright red, it is done. Remove from stove and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes.Stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight .Before serving remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves. (The cloves may be hard to find. You should count out exactly six cloves when you prepare the recipe so you know how many you are looking for.)
  7. The recipe makes about 6 cups of sauce.

Cooking Apple-Cranberry Sauce

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Apple-Cranberry Sauce is almost done.The Apple-Cranberry Sauce after about five minutes of cooking.The arrowroot mixture has been added to the apple-cranberry mixture at the end of the cooking process.The Apple-cranberry sauce is ready to serve.
The Apple-Cranberry Sauce is almost done.
The Apple-Cranberry Sauce is almost done. | Source
The Apple-Cranberry Sauce after about five minutes of cooking.
The Apple-Cranberry Sauce after about five minutes of cooking. | Source
The arrowroot mixture has been added to the apple-cranberry mixture at the end of the cooking process.
The arrowroot mixture has been added to the apple-cranberry mixture at the end of the cooking process. | Source
The Apple-cranberry sauce is ready to serve.
The Apple-cranberry sauce is ready to serve. | Source

How would you rate this recipe for Apple Cranberry Sauce?

5 stars from 2 ratings of Apple Cranberry Sauce with Rasins and Maple Syrup

Uses for Leftover Apple-Cranberry Sauce

I hope you are lucky enough to have leftovers.

Add some of this sauce to turkey sandwiches.

Serve it with pork loin or pork chops. Great with chicken too.

Mix it into cooked oatmeal.

It is also great spooned over ice cream, pound cake, or bread pudding.

Use as a topping for cheesecake.

Lightly toast a slice of rustic artisan whole-wheat bread. Spread goat cheese or brie on the bread. Top with this sauce.

Mix it into plain yogurt. Or make a yogurt parfait layering yogurt cranberry sauce and granola.

A Cranberry Cookbook

Cranberry Cooking for All Seasons
Cranberry Cooking for All Seasons

This is a wonderful book dedicated to cranberries. If you love cranberries as much as I do, you will love this book as much as I do. The book includes a wonderful selection of cranberry recipes suitable for each season, beautiful photography, and even some cranberry lore, useful information, and fun facts.

 

An Ode to a Cranberry

I wrote a poem of praise for cranberries.
I wrote a poem of praise for cranberries. | Source

An Ode to a Cranberry

I like my cranberry sauce so much, I wrote a poem about it.


An Ode to a Cranberry

The humble cranberry,

born in a marshy bog,

floating in a community

of bright red cranberries.


One crisp autumn day,

swept into a net,

then hauled away

and bagged in plastic wrap.


Trucked to a store,

piled high in bins,

like bright red beanbags.

Buy one, get one free.


Cooked with apples and raisins,

maple syrup, and a cinnamon stick--

It boils, and bursts, and bubbles,

becoming beauteously thick.


A shimmering bright red jelly,

set in a cut-glass bowl,

served chilled, yet

warming my Thanksgiving soul.

Just for fun:

What kind of cranberry sauce do you prefer?

See results

© 2014 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your comments.

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      It is not hard to make cranberry sauce and it tastes much better than canned sauce. I use the leftovers like jam with bread and cream cheese or goat cheese.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      you made your own cranberry sauce? Is it the same as jams?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Have a happy thanksgiving. Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. Enjoy the leftover cranberry sauce.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The recipes sound lovely. I love the suggestions for using leftover apple cranberry sauce, too!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      MsDora. Thank you. I'm not sure my cranberry poem is finished yet. I think it needs more work, but I am glad to hear that you liked it. I liked the beanbag image, but I think I need to decide if the poem rhymes or is free form. I know you will like this cranberry sauce. In the past I had large Thanksgiving dinners with friends and friends of friends. A guest would tell another guest. "I know you don't like cranberry sauce, but try this. You will love it."

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Catherine, your ode to the cranberry is beautiful and appreciative. Thanks for the information and cooking instructions. This year, you may convert some to being cranberry lovers like you are. Good job!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Iris: The pie tastes delicious too. As does the cranberry sauce. If you don't already have a favorite recipe for cranberry sauce, try this one for Thanksgiving.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      That pie looks delicious!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Chitrangada: Thank you for the vote and the pin. Cranberries are so much more than just canned cranberry sauce.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Your recipes sound interesting and yummy! The pictures and description is very well explained. Thanks for sharing the details.

      Other related recipes are also worth trying.

      Voted up and pinned on my dessert board!