Homemade cranberry sauce with apple

This cranberry sauce with apple is lightly spiced and takes under 30 minutes to make.

You can imagine Thanksgiving dinner in a house with seven children.

What you probably can’t imagine is what it must have taken my mom to get dinner on the table for a family of nine, plus grandparents and other visitors.
There was a 25 pound turkey, mountains of potatoes and squash, jars and jars of mom’s homemade pickles brought up from the cold room. There were apple and pumpkin pies covering every available flat surface and homemade cranberry sauce made with local rock cranberries.
I’m sure our table, and all of us around it, looked like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Thanksgiving has evolved in our house which is a godsend for everyone as our family grew. It’s still a big feast (we’ll be a crowd of two dozen this year) but for almost twenty years we have celebrated Thanksgiving at our family cottage and it’s potluck-style so no one has too much prep.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving for me without homemade cranberry sauce. I didn’t like it as a child but I loved the idea of it, those tiny rock cranberries cooked into a garnet jam that glistened in the serving dish. Rock cranberries grow wild in blueberry territory and are practically impossible to buy now. Still, homemade cranberry sauce made with plump bog cranberries is delicious and adds a bit of sweet and spice that ties a traditional Thanksgiving dinner together.

This is a recipe I have made for the past few years and that I sometimes give as gifts. It is lightly spiced and includes apple along with the cranberries. Even better, it take less than 30 minutes to make.

Cranberry sauce with apple and molasses

  • 1 pound of cranberries, picked over and washed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (can reduce to 1 cup if you prefer a tart sauce)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

  1. In a medium pot combine the cranberries, sugar, molasses and apples.
  2. Cover and place on medium heat, stirring from time to time.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Uncover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook another 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the spices.

The mixture will thicken as it cools but cook it a little longer if you prefer a thicker sauce. Store in the refrigerator. This cranberry sauce will last for three months.

Green tips:

  • Choose organic apples since conventionally grown apples have a high pesticide load.
  • Look for local cranberries at your local markets.

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