Autumn Spiced Cranberry Sauce

I was in Target the other day and I had to laugh to myself. We’re just a few days past Halloween and already the store is adorned in Christmas decorations. I walked over to that area and the aisles are stocked with wrapping paper, ornaments and lights. It’s eighty degrees in Los Angeles, the leaves haven’t even started to fall, and I’m not ready to muster up that holiday spirit just yet.

I am however, in the early stages of Thanksgiving preparations. I’m starting to ponder what dishes I will make this year. Every holiday I like to add a new dish to my repertoire. I do have some creative ideas for desserts I’ve never done before, but then there are those family favorite dishes which will always remain a fixture in my Thanksgiving dinner. For the past 30 years I’ve made my Aunt Evelyn’s sweet potato and apple casserole topped with marshmallows. I loved it as a kid and my two sons dig into it as soon as I place it on table.

Growing up in the sixties I remember my mother serving cranberry sauce with our turkey. I can still picture that Ocean Spray can and the gelatinous, cylindrical shaped cranberry concoction that came out of it. (It should be noted that my mother is a very good cook, except for the cranberry sauce). For many years I believed that was the only way you could eat cranberry sauce. About five years ago I decided to give the cranberry a second chance, and I’m glad I did.

This cranberry sauce is so good, I just eat it out of the container for several days after the holiday.  It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s spicy! Just say no to the can.

Autumn Spiced Cranberry Sauce

From Williams-Sonoma


  • 1/2 orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tart apple, Granny Smith or Pippin
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • Squeeze the juice from the 1/2 orange and set aside. Remove and discard the membrane and pith (the white part) from the inside of the orange and cut the rind into a very small dice.  In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Peel, core and quarter the appale. Cut into a 1/2 inch dice and place in a medium saucepan. Sort the cranberries and discard any soft ones. Add cranberries to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer the sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for one hour. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe: Easy

18 Comments on “Autumn Spiced Cranberry Sauce”

  1. 3meals2snacks says:

    Cranberries now on my shopping list. I’ll negotiate the usual low calorie regimen to have just this much sugar, and hope I can ration this tasty dish. Besides, I think cranberries are nutritionally berry, berry good for you.

  2. Ella says:

    This looks great, I will have to try this as soon as possible.

  3. lauren Kurzweil says:

    I like this recipe and am going to try it. I always make fresh cranberries but just use the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag. I like the addition of the apples, cinnamon and cloves! I make cranberries thughout the year becase it is such a great accompaniment to poultry. I make a big batch becase it keeps in he refrigerator for over a week…..if it lasts that long. Hae you ever tried warming some up ith a sccop of ice-cream….it’s a yummy dessert!

  4. This is definitely a better recipe than the one I have-it has a lot more flavorful ingredients in it. I will keep this one for Thanksgiving, even though I am tempted to try it now-yum! Have a great weekend.

  5. This looks like a great Thanksgiving recipe and I guarantee it’s way better then what my mother brings every year.

  6. Tamara says:

    Mama, thanks for sharing your stories and your recipes…I look forward to your postings. Definitely will try this one…I love recipes with only a few ingredients.

  7. Ruth says:

    Ooh! This is a recipe to keep for the holidays! Thanks for sharing! Pinned it!

  8. Kim Demshki says:

    Looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try it this Thanksgiving!!!

  9. Sally Jo says:

    ohhh! looks yummy! can’t wait to try! thanks for sharing!

  10. Beth says:

    I loved that gelatinous, cylindrical shaped cranberry concoction!! And I love fresh cranberry sauce even more. I will have to give this recipe a try.

  11. Yummy – so festive and seasonal.

  12. wanda says:

    What a wonderful presentation!

  13. This looks amazing! This is very similar to my cranberry sauce, I put Red Zinfandel in mine. The apples sound like a delicious addition to the cranberries. I must try…

  14. The Hook says:

    I think my daughter would love this! Nicely done.

  15. Jane says:

    As I read your recipe for cranberry sauce, I could picture your mother in the kitchen at 513 Devon Rd….(it was 513, wasn’t it???) something was always going on!!! At my house on Thanksgiving, I also waited for that shiny sweet cranberry sauce, to come out from hiding inside it’s dark can!! Happy Cooking!!

  16. Sibella says:

    Beautiful photos!

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