Thanksgiving Recipe: Maple-Apple Cranberry Sauce

updated Jan 29, 2020
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Are you looking to cut back on refined sugar this holiday? Or perhaps you’d like to jazz things up in the cranberry department? This cranberry sauce features maple syrup, apples, and apple cider for a lovely autumnal flavor. I think I like it better than the standard version!

(Image credit: Emily Han)

Most cranberry sauce recipes call for sugar, which not only balances out the tartness of the cranberries but also helps to thicken the sauce. Here I combine the cranberries with chunks of sweet, pectin-rich apple as well as apple cider and maple syrup. The apple, maple, and spices give the sauce depth and complexity, even though it takes just 10 to 15 minutes to make. I also like the texture of the crisp-tender apples against the jammy cranberries.

I like my cranberry sauce on the tart side, but if you like it sweeter you can simply adjust the maple syrup to taste. And if you have any sauce leftover after the Thanksgiving dinner, let me suggest continuing with the apple theme and making some Baked Apples with Cranberry Sauce!

(Image credit: Emily Han)

Maple-Apple Cranberry Sauce

Makes about 3 cups

12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 sweet apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup maple syrup (or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst, the apple pieces are tender, and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool; the sauce will thicken as it cools. Taste and add more maple syrup, if desired.

Cover and store in the refrigerator.