Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce is the best homemade cranberry sauce you'll ever have! Made with fresh cranberries, apples and spices for the perfect blend of sweet and tart!
Update: This recipe was originally shared in November 2016. The recipe and photos have been updated and republished in November 2021.
The consistency of canned cranberry sauce kinda creeps me out. Not to the point where I won't eat it, but I just prefer to make homemade cranberry sauce. For years, I would make Pear Honey Cranberry Sauce, but I decided to try something different and ended up with this recipe, my new favorite.
What is spiced apple cranberry sauce?
According to my cousin, it "tastes like the holidays in my mouth". Which I take to be high praise. Cranberries, apples, brown sugar, apple cider and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg combine in this extra delicious cranberry sauce. Oh, and there's bourbon, because I love bourbon.
Fall spices like cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom are all strong flavors. They can easily overpower a dish but when you get the right combination, it can really make a dish sing. Most people, reasonable people, would have chosen one or two of those spices and added them to cranberry sauce.
But then there is me. Who decided to add a bunch of them. I love bold flavored food, so why not?
Ingredients for this recipe
- fresh cranberries
- large apple
- brown sugar
- apple cider
- ground ginger
- ground nutmeg
How to make cranberry sauce
- First, combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, apples, apple cider, bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and brown sugar. Stir everything together.
- Then bring to a boil. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the majority of the liquid has boiled off.
- Then remove from the heat and let set. Take the saucepan off the burner and let sit for 15-20 minutes until the cranberry sauce thickens.
- Finally, serve, refrigerate or freeze. To serve, transfer cranberry sauce to a serving dish. To refrigerate, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 10 days. Or the freeze, store in an airtight container for a month. If serving from frozen, let thaw overnight in the fridge, then come to room temp on the counter for a few hours before serving.
FAQ's for spiced apple cranberry sauce
Absolutely not. I just really love bourbon. So much so that I also have a Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. Most, but not all, of the alcohol will cook off but keep that in mind if serving children or those who don't drink.
When stored in an air-tight container, cranberry sauce will last for about 10 days in the fridge. Or you can freeze it for a few months. I always make my cranberry sauce 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and freeze it.
Sugar! I like using brown sugar in this cranberry sauce recipe. Honey and maple syrup are also great sweeteners for cranberry sauce.
Don't worry! Once the cranberry sauce is removed from the heat, the sauce will thicken up as it cools. If it still isn't thick enough for you, place the sauce back over low heat for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Like I said, the spices I used in this recipe are bold. If you aren't a fan of nutmeg or cardamom, feel free to leave them out. Allspice and ground cloves would also make a great addition to this cranberry sauce.
Of course I serve this cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, but you can use it in a bunch of other recipes, like Thanksgiving Turkey Cranberry Wrap, Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo Sandwiches or Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls.
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Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz cranberries fresh
- 1 large apple peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup apple cider
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.12 oz cranberries, 1 large apple, 1 cup brown sugar, ¾ cup apple cider, 1 tablespoon bourbon, 2 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ½ teaspoon salt
- Bring to a boil, stirring every couple of minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium low and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
- Once the liquids have reduced by at least half, remove from the heat and allow the cranberry sauce to set up.
- Serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze. (See notes for refrigeration and freezing instructions.)
Recipes on Cookaholic Wife are for information purposes only. Nutritional Data provided has not been evaluated by a nutritionist.