That there photo above is courtesy of my dad, Joe Stanton.
So, I wanted something Thanksgiving-ey, and decided that I could something with cranberry sauce. I didn’t want to add a ton of sugar like most even homemade cranberry sauces have, so I decided that apples were the way to go. I knew that they would make an awesome sauce because well… apple sauce is awesome! This sauce takes a bit of time, however it is DIRT SIMPLE. The most pain in the ass part of it is prepping the apples.
This sauce can certainly be served chunky, but I personally prefer a jelly style cranberry sauce, so I stick this stuff in a blender. It is SO GOOD, so go make it now. It can be served like either cranberry sauce OR apple sauce would be. I would absolutely think about using this in place of apple sauce in recipes that call for it. (Dear crock pot… you, this sauce, and some pork might be hanging out sometime soon.)
– 3 sweet apples… These were… um. Fuji?
– zest of 1 orange
– juice of two oranges
– 1 bag of cranberries
– 1 cup water
– honey to taste, if needed
– 1 saucepan
– vegetable peeler
– good kitchen knife
– Rubber spatula
– (not friggen pictured, damn it) Zester
Also needed, if more of a jelly is preferred: Blender
First things first (Honestly, dealing with the apples is the hardest work in the whole recipe) grab yer apples.
Peel the apples. Don’t worry if the apples start getting a little brown, since they are going to be getting cooked to death anyway.
Core the apples. I found the best way to do this was to quarter the apple, cut the quarters in half, then cut the core out. Do whatever works best for ya. Who am I, the apple police?
FRUIT NINJA CHOP APPLES!! Or you know… whatever. Chop them up smallish…
And throw them into the saucepan.
Grab the oranges…
And don’t be an idiot like me and zest one of the oranges BEFORE cutting them in half to juice. Yeah. Anyway…
Add the juice of both oranges to the pan with the apples and the orange zest.
Throw the bag of cranberries into the pot with everything else…
Add one cup of water to the whole mess, and turn the heat on.
Start cooking the whole thing. Now: The cranberries are going to make noise as they start to cook. It will sound like popping. Don’t worry, they are supposed to do that. But seriously, keep your eye open and wear long sleeves, because that crap can be HOT if they spray.
See… popping cranberries.
Anyway, keep cooking everything, and stirring.
And cooking, and stirring and cooking and stirring…
Once the apples are soft and starting to fall apart, turn the heat off. Grab a spoon, and grab a spoonful to taste. Huff and puff and blow the shit out of the sauce, as it will be VERY HOT. Once it’s coolish, taste test it. If it needs a bit more sweetness, add some honey, but don’t go crazy. Add a little, taste, and add more if needed. Let this cool down a fair bit. If it’s destined to remain whole just like this, throw it into a container and stick it in the fridge. Like I said, I decided to blend it, so I let it cool for a long time…
Tossed it into the blender (I did it in two small batches. Don’t over fill the blender, trust me. Bad things happen when you do that) and blend until smooth.
It makes a fair bit of sauce. Once blended, cover, and stick it in the fridge. I found that it took a good 24 hours to hit the best consistency, so this should be made well ahead of time.
This ended up being just a STUNNING color, and a really good texture. I couldn’t have been happier with the results!