Chunky Cranberry Applesauce

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Chunky Cranberry Applesauce

I’m a recipe jumper of sorts.

Apples

Even if I really love a recipe, the chance of it reappearing on our menu is slim. I like variety. And I love trying new foods.

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So when I have a dish that keeps popping up for years and years, you know it is something special.

Apples

Enter my chunky cranberry applesauce.

Applesauce

I first stumbled upon this recipe from Cooking Light back when I first started cooking a few years ago. It was incredible as written, but I long ago abandoned the recipe and have formulated it fit our food tastes. More fiber, less sugar and more cranberries.

Applesauce

The best part about this recipe other than the taste? Minimal ingredients and minimal work.

ingredients

1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 pounds apples (approximately)
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. water
Dash of nutmeg

Apples

For the apples, best results come from a selection of different flavors.

Apples

For this go ’round, I used a Braeburn, two small Honeycrisps, a Granny Smith and a Golden Delicious.

First up, get to choppin’.

Apples

I keep the peels on my apples for a number of reasons:

  1. The peels are chock full of polypehnols and fiber.
  2. I like the texture of them in my finished applesauce.
  3. I use organic apples. If you are using conventionally-grown apples, PLEASE peel them.
  4. I’m way too lazy to peel them.

Chop them into chunks. Fill up a large bowl with cool water and the lemon juice. Submerge the apple chunks as you cut them.

Apples

This step isn’t for flavor at all, just preservation. Brown and mushy does not a good applesauce make. Make sure each cube is nice and coated. Use yer hands!

Apples

Set aside. To the stove!

Stove

Put your favorite dutch oven over medium high heat and put in all the remaining ingredients. Bouncing cranberries.

Cranberries

Sugahhh.

Sugar

Spices.

Spices

Water.

Water

Maple syrup.

Syrup

Give it all a stir and bring it to a boil.

Cranberries

The cranberries will start to pop.

Cranberries

Bring it up to a rolling boil.

Cranberries

Reduce heat to low, drain the apples and throw them in the pool.

Applesauce

Stir well.

Applesauce

It is going to look very dry, but don’t worry, it’ll cook down. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until it looks something like this:

Applesauce

Grab your handy-dandy potato masher.

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And go to town.

Mahs

Mash to your preferred consistency. Remember, this is called CHUNKY cranberry applesauce. But I guess if you prefer it chunkless, you could give it a whirl in the blender or food processor.

Applesauce

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until well-chilled. Or, if you aren’t particularly good at pre-planning (like me), divide into serving dishes and plop in the freezer until cool enough.

Applesauce

This is an incredible side for poultry and pork. And my personal favorite choice for a cranberry sauce substitute for Thanksgiving dinner. The color is beautiful, the flavor is great, and it is a nice change of pace from the typical tangy cranberry sauce. And it is still awesome on turkey sandwiches, I promise.

Applesauce

Chunky Cranberry Applesauce
(Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 pounds apples (approximately)
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. water
Dash of nutmeg

Fill a large bowl with cold water and mix in lemon juice. Core and cube apples and submerge in lemon water. Set aside. Mix all remaining ingredients in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. When most of the cranberries have popped, about 5 minutes, drain apples and stir into cranberries. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until apples are tender. Remove from heat and mash to desired consistency with a potato masher. Chill well before serving.
Makes 10-1/2 cup servings.

Pork

We served our applesauce as a side to peppercorn pork tenderloin. I’d love to say I spent hours perfecting the marinade for this, but truthfully, it was a pre-flavored cut of meat from the store. All the unflavored tenderloins were way too big for two people. This was totally amazing though.

Couscous

Also mixed together some couscous we purchased on Sunday from the market at Huber’s Orchard and Winery.

Cous Cous

It had a nice flavor, but a little too salty for my tastes.

Dinner

And I may or may not have had a caramel apple for dessert.

Carmel Apple

Okay, I totally did.

Carmel Apple

9 Comments

  1. I LOOOOVE homemade apple sauce. I love baking with apples and pumpkins in the fall. I have to order a big bag of apples for our delivery box soon, so I can make some apple sauce and apple pie! I love to leave on the apple skin (peel?) but Doug doesn’t like it like that, so we usually make half with skin and half without.

    I have never thought to use lemon juice when making apple sauce. I do for pie and just to keep cut up apples from turning brown/soggy. Does it really help them to stay pretty crisp in the apple sauce or do they still get squishy?

    • To me, when apples oxidize they feel mealy. But I think the lemon juice helps them to be soft without being mealy. Ha, if that makes any sense! So any chunks of apple that are left whole in the sauce are just tender, not mushy. And I think oxidized apples definitely taste different to! I’m sure you could skip the lemon water step, I’ve actually never tired!

      • Yeah, I hate that mealy texture! I’m going to have to use the lemon juice step next time I make apple sauce. I have a feeling it would improve the taste/texture a lot!

        I used to keep lemon juice in a spray bottle when I packed my lunches for work, because I could cut up an apple, spray it with lemon juice, and it wouldn’t get brown and gross by lunch time. Best trick I ever learned!

  2. What is a Dutch oven? I could ask Google but I think I’ll like your answer better :)

    • It is a big, heavy pot that kinda looks like a soup pot with a tight-fitting lid. It is normally made of cast iron. It is SO versatile. Perfect size for boiling pasta or making a soup, but not so huge that it takes a lot of effort to find a place to store it. Plus, it can go from the stove to the oven to the fridge. Oh, and mine is red. And that makes me happy. I use it for EVERYTHING. It heats very evenly, is naturally non stick and is basically just awesome.

      There are also some more raunchy definitions of the term, which I’ll let you Google to find. :P

  3. I am making the applesauce right now and my house smells ah-mazing. I can’t wait to eat the finished product.

  4. I made this today and it turned out AMAZING. Thanks so much for the recipe (with pictures… I looove pictures!)

    • Yay! I’m so glad you liked it. We’re making it this week to sub in for cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving.

  5. I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and it was a HUGE hit! A couple of people even said it was their favorite dish, beating out dinner rolls and mashed potatoes. :) Thank you!

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