Spiced Cranberry Applesauce
A festive homemade applesauce spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, with a handful of cranberries and lightly sweetened
6 cups (12 servings)
5 large cooking apples (not Red Delicious), peeled, cored, and diced (~1-inch chunks)
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*
2 tablespoons water
~1/2 cup sugar
1. In a large stock pot, combine the apples, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir and continue simmering over low heat, covered, until apples are soft and mushy, and cranberries are all popped (about 20-30 minutes, depending on the kind of apples you used).
2. Remove from heat and stir in sugar to taste. We like at least 1/4 cup of sugar, which makes a tart applesauce, but you can add up to a half cup or even more, depending on your tastes and the kind of apples you used.
3. You now have a chunky homemade applesauce, which you can serve hot/warm or chilled.
To make a smooth applesauce, blend the hot applesauce until smooth and then press through a colander or sieve to remove any remaining bits of cranberry peeling.
*I like to use freshly ground cloves and allspice. You can find whole cloves and allspice in the bulk food section of some grocery, health, or bulk food stores. Grind using a mortar and pestle or small coffee grinder.
Allspice is a less-commonly used spice, so if you don't have it, you can omit it in this recipe. I buy allspice in whole form and grind as needed, so it stays fresh and fragrant despite infrequent use. :)
I love applesauce! Homemade applesauce is one of my favorite healthy ways to enjoy fresh apples. I created this spiced applesauce to add a holiday flair to an otherwise ordinary fruit side dish. The cranberries and spices give a dark reddish color to the applesauce, and the cinnamon, cloves, and allspice provide a distinctly different -- and delicious -- flavor!
This applesauce is a real hit with my children! They get excited when they see me making it. :) I've served it to guests as well, and it has met with rave reviews. :) This is a perfect recipe to include in a special meal or to take to a potluck! :)
I have served this as a lunch or dinner side dish, or with breakfast. Our breakfast guests spooned this applesauce over the hot fresh waffles and declared it perfect! I still prefer maple syrup or fresh fruit and whipped cream with my waffles though. ;)