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Holiday Recipes with a Twist: Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

And today we have the final recipes in the Holiday Recipes series I’ve been putting on with Amanda and Tyler of What We’re Eating.  At our pre-holiday dinner, Amanda made a delicious cranberry sauce that included persimmons and just a touch of fresh rosemary.  I would never have thought to add rosemary to cranberry sauce, but the combination was perfect!

I decided to pair my cranberries with apples, fresh ginger, and lots of sugar for a sweet-tart sauce that is the epitome of fall.  Since I’ve always loved the homemade applesauce my grandma serves every year with the Christmas ham, I decided to make an applesauce that goes well with turkey, too!  This one definitely fits the bill.  And I added the big dose of fresh ginger with my husband in mind, as that’s one of his favorite flavors.

For those of you who have never made homemade applesauce, this will be a revelation.  Just throw a whole bunch of apples in the pot with a bit of water and sugar and it practically makes itself.  If you’d like to make plain applesauce using this recipe, omit the berries and ginger, reduce the sugar a bit and throw a couple cinnamon sticks into the pot.  Proceed with directions and remove the cinnamon sticks at the end.  Of course you can add some ground cinnamon at the end and even use the fresh ginger if you like.  Once you make homemade applesauce for the first time, you’ll never be happy with the store-bought stuff again.

Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

4-5 pounds baking apples, peeled, cored and quartered*
1 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup water
1 12 oz. package cranberries
1-2 cups sugar**
1 tablespoon grated ginger
pinch of salt

Place apples in a large saucepan or dutch oven.  Squeeze lemon juice into the cup of water then pour over the apples.  Add cranberries, sugar, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt.  Stir, then bring mixture to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When apples are soft enough to mash with a spoon, remove from heat.  Mash with a potato masher, or for a smoother texture, run mixture through a food mill.  Let cool, then refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use.  Can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a year.

Recipe Notes: *I used a combination of Granny Smith and Golden Delicous apples. **The amount of sugar is up to you.  If you prefer a very tart sauce, you might even use less than a cup.  2 cups of sugar will give you a sweet, dessert-like sauce.  You can always start out with a small amount and stir more in towards the end of cooking.  I prefer my sauce sweet!

Yield: about 7 cups

In case you missed any of the other recipes in our holiday series this month, you can see them all below.  Click on a photo to be taken to the recipe.  Happy holiday planning!

Sourdough Stuffing with Apples and Bacon

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

And the Holiday Recipe Series continues over at What We’re Eating with:

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Wrapped in Prosciutto

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Persimmon