I’ll admit it, I used to be a canned cranberry sauce-a-holic. That poor turkey on my plate was just a vehicle. The potatoes, a mini bumper lane for the goey globs of that sweet purple sauce, all over the place. You know, back in my teenage days before I knew about real food.
And, no wonder. After looking at the label, it’s easy to see why. In a mortifying way. All that high fructose corn syrup and coloring and gelatin and extra sugar. Gross.
But the homemade stuff was never really as good. Or so I thought.
Now, I won’t let a year pass without this version- known to even sway the toughest of can lovers.
Plus, there’s no sugar involved. Just cran-beauties, dates and apples. And a touch of maple syrup or honey if you’d like.
Sarah’s Sweet Apple + Cranberry Sauce
Makes approximately 3 cups
Notes: Canned cranberry sauce will be a thing of the past after you try this recipe; I promise you. Sweeter varieties of apples include Gala, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp or Fuji.
6 cups fresh cranberries
10 dates, pits removed and chopped
2 sweet apples, chopped
3 fresh cinnamon sticks
1 cup water
maple syrup or honey to taste (start with 2 tablespoons and as more as you prefer)
In a large soup pot over medium heat, add cranberries, water and a few dashes of sea salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. When boiling, stir berries, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add dates, apples, and cinnamon sticks to the cranberry mixture. Cook until apples are softened through, approximately 10-15 minutes. Depending on your preferences, leave the sauce as is, or blend (partially or fully) with an immersion blender for a smoother texture.
Best when served cold, if possible. Make up to a week ahead. Leftovers freeze well.