Holiday Cranberry Applesauce Recipe -
Holiday Cranberry Applesauce Recipe

Holiday Cranberry Applesauce

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"This spicy, bright-red applesauce boasts extra antioxidants (concentrated in the apple skins) and antibacterial activity (in the cranberry juice). As a bonus, cinnamon helps blunt sugar's ability to spike blood glucose. It's an easy alternative to traditional cranberry and apple sauces for your holiday feast."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 cups Change Servings


  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, covered, 15 minutes.
  2. Lower heat; simmer until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor with the knife blade; process until smooth. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.
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  • Copyright 2004 Jean Carper. Printed first in USA WEEKEND. All rights reserved.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 26, 2009

I took my time to read the other reviews before I made this. I used 6 pounds organic granny smith apples but kept the candies and juice the same. I cooked this in my slow cooker for one hour on high and another three on low. I'm glad I checked on it because it was done to the point of smooth applesauce with a faint chunk. The flavor is just right for our family, the right amount of tart and sweet, not too cinnamon-y. When I make this again, I'd do what I did before and maybe cut back on the liquid by a half cup and cut the cooking time back by an hour. That's not the recipe's fault, we just like a chunkier sauce. BEAUTIFUL sauce.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 31, 2004

Really nice with a pork roast!

Jan 15, 2007

This is the best applesauce I've ever eaten! I halved the recipe and used 2 Sonya apples and 1 Braeburn, cranapple juice, and added 2 tablespoons honey. I DID peel the apples, and it took about 30 minutes for them to cook to tender. I put the apples and juice in a blender for a few seconds and the resulting sauce was such a beautiful rosy color. It is sweet and spicy and I will definitely make this again.

Jan 22, 2005

I found that 6 medium apples was about 3 lb. I used half Jonagold apples and half grannysmith. I didn't like the bits of peel from the green apples; I might peel all the apples next time and then not use the food processor (just cut them in small pieces and cook then down). If you "process until smooth" you can end up with the consistancy of baby food; I would rather process for a couple seconds and have some applesauce texture left. The cinnamon flavor and red color is nice and makes this a special apple sauce. I also liked the "Sauteed Apples" recipe.

Jan 26, 2009

I have three daughters and I can never get them to eat cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. I made this for a big dinner, 15 people, I tripled the recipe, and it was completely gone. I served it in a divided server with regular cranberry sauce on the other side and no one ate the regular kind. I will add this to my yearly dinner. Got several requests for the recipe and was happy to give it out!

Dec 27, 2004

This was the first time I made a big holiday dinner myself. I used a cranberry theme and this recipe fit in perfectly. It was a big hit with all of my guests.

Nov 22, 2008

This was so easy to make. I sliced, pealed and cored my apples, and after they were cooked the first 15 min or so took my immersion blender to it. It has the consistancy of applesauce with a very wonderful unique flavor. The red hots gave a sweetness without a "spicey" cinnamon flavor. I bottled it and gave it a "bath". Jars sealed nice and I can't wait to share it.

Oct 30, 2010

Mmmm.... Sooooo yummy!!! I've been eyeing this for a while. Now that apple season is at its peak (yea!), I decided to try this out. It's almost fall and I just can't WAIT any longer to make all of my seasonal favs - pumpkin & maple everything (lol!), apple pie / crisp, applesauce, cider, etc. The smell of this while simmering was divine (it does smell like Christmas!)! I must admit, it took me 2 batches to get this right.... Having said that, I have some CRITICAL tips to help you avoid what I did wrong. I followed the recipe exact on my 1st attempt. My applesauce was nearly mush, but b/c I left the skins on, I had to briefly pulse in my blender. My KitchenAid is VERY powerful. One pulse (to break down the skins) was enough to turn my "sauce" to "liquid!" For my 2nd attempt, I peeled my apples, cooked for 15 min. ONLY (I stopped after step 1), took everything off the burner, allowed to cool slightly & then GENTLY mashed w/ a potato masher. My applesauce was still quite smooth, but had an ever so slightly chunky texture (perfect!). NOTE: I could not find a bulk-sized bag of red hot candies. My grocer only sells the sm. 2 oz. bottles in the baking aisle at $1.99 ea. (ikes!). I opted to use a lg. box (think movie theater sze.) of Hot Tamales. One box is exactly 2/3 c. For my 2nd batch, I used 1 1/2 boxes (there wasn't enough cinnamon flavor in my first one, but 1.5 boxes was a bit too much... grr!). Thx. for sharing, Jean! I'm glad I tried your recipe. :-)


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  • Calories
  • 148 kcal
  • 7%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 37.9 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.3 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 3.3 g
  • 13%
  • Protein
  • 0.4 g
  • < 1%
  • Sodium
  • 8 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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