As much as I like mixing it up with homemade cranberry sauce, this Apple Cranberry Sauce recipe with fresh tart apples, apple cider, and cinnamon is the one I find myself making over and over again.
I originally shared this Apple Cranberry Sauce recipe all the way back in 2010, and I have made it countless times since then. So easy and so, so good!
Cranberries and apples are the perfect pair. The sweet-tart flavor of apples and cider lend an Autumn vibe to your fresh cranberry sauce recipe; cinnamon and cloves add earthy warmth.
How to Make Apple Cranberry Sauce
If you’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce, you’re in for a treat! Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make. Plus, it makes your house smell divine!
First, let’s go over our simple list of ingredients:
- Fresh cranberries – of course! Find them in the produce section of your local grocery store.
- Tart apple – I like Granny Smith or Macintosh for this recipe.
- Apple cider – fresh cranberry sauce needs liquid, and cider is the perfect addition to an apple cranberry sauce situation.
- Sugar – Without sugar, your homemade cranberry sauce is going to be waaayyyyy too tart to eat. So don’t make cranberry sauce without it! Honey and pure maple syrup work perfectly well, too.
- Cinnamon – While I often love to throw a cinnamon stick or two into my homemade cranberry sauce recipes, this one calls for ground cinnamon to really spice up the situation.
- Ground cloves – I love the warm, harvest-y flavor that a pinch of ground cloves lends. If you’re not into cloves, feel free to leave them out or use a little less than the recipe calls for.
- Lemon zest – Just adds a nice bright note to your apple cranberry sauce.
To cook your Apple Cranberry Sauce, simply add all ingredients to a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer until your berries have burst and your sauce has a nice jammy consistency. It usually takes about 15 minutes. So easy!
Can You Freeze Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Yes! Homemade cranberry sauce and especially this Apple Cranberry Sauce are perfect for making ahead of time – one less thing to worry about on the big day!
This sauce keeps perfectly in the freezer for up to two months. To thaw, just move to the fridge a couple days ahead of time.
Apple Cranberry Sauce with Cider & Cinnamon
- 1 cup apple cider (can substitute water)
- 1 medium apple (peeled, cored, and diced) (I recommend a tart variety like Granny Smith or McIntosh)
- 3 cups 12 ounces fresh cranberries, washed
- 1/3 – 2/3 cup sugar (plus possibly a little more, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Zest of one small lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the temp to medium-low and simmer until the berries have burst and the mixture has thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool and serve.
- May be refrigerated for two days or frozen for up to two months.