This is the simplest cranberry apple sauce you can make. It takes just a few minutes and is infinitely better than anything you can buy.
Along with plain cranberry sauce and uncooked cranberry-orange relish, it is a staple at my family Thanksgiving dinner. I love putting out all three versions at the same meal and find that many of the guests take more than one variety. Honestly I could eat a bowl of each, though I try to restrain myself when there is so much other good food at the table.
For the apples in this sauce, I prefer yellow Delicious because they are mild and keep their shape. The tartness of the apple (or its sweetness) and whether it keeps its shape during cooking or tends to disintegrate as McIntosh and some other varieties do affects the final cranberry apple sauce.
Choose the type of apple that fits the flavor profile and texture you seek. Or experiment using a bit of several types of apples and see if you like the combination.
This is a cross between cranberry and apple sauce, less tart than the plain version. The nuts are nice, but not essential. For a milder version, substitute a pear for 1 or both of the apples. Another idea would be to use an Asian pear or two; their taste is quite mild and their texture is between that of an apple and a pear.
Simple Apple Cranberry Sauce With Walnuts
- 12 ounces cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 apples peeled, cored and cut into chunks.
- 2 handfuls walnuts coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup before chopping) - optional
- Rinse the cranberries and set them aside.
- Boil the water with the honey, being careful not to let the mixture boil over. (The amount of water used in this version is not exact, as apples contain water and how thick the sauce is with 2 apples and ½ cup water depends on the size and juiciness of the apples. Play it by ear and don’t be afraid to tinker with the proportions.)
- Add the apple pieces and cranberries. Bring the mixture back to a rolling boil.
- Continue to boil the mixture for 5-10 minutes under medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until most of the cranberries have popped.
- Let the cranberry apple sauce cool on the counter before refrigerating or freezing it.
- Add the (optional) chopped nuts just before serving.