April 25, 2008

Cranberry-apple sauce

I always stock up on cranberries in the fall. I buy them at the farmers market and freeze them so I can make cranberry sauce or cranberry muffins the rest of the year. If you don't have any, you can usually find them in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store.

This cranberry sauce usually shows up at most holiday dinners at our house. I've never had a recipe for it and it has kind of morphed over the years from strawberry-cranberry to apple-cranberry. I'm not sure when that happened, but I probably was out of strawberries one holiday and substituted apples and liked it better. I never measure the ingredients and usually give vague quantities when asked for a recipe, but this time I tried to keep track of what I was doing because I've been asked so many times for the recipe that I decided to make one. Here's what I think it is - more or less. The basic idea is to have approximately equal amounts of both fruits, so depending on the size of your apples, you may need more or less than five.

If you cook the sauce with apple juice you will need less sweetener. I prefer my sauce on the tart side so I add very little sweetener - maybe 1/4 cup - to get the taste I like. I usually use apple juice but forgot to buy it so I used water this time, but it was still pretty sweet because of all the apples, so I think I added about 1/4 cup of agave syrup. Sometimes I use maple syrup and sometimes Sucanot or sorghum. Use your favorite in the amount you prefer.

Cranberry-apple sauce
-1 bag of cranberries (about a pound, more or less)
-about 4 cooking apples, cut into cubes about the size of cranberries
-handful of raisins
-cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla
-2 teaspoons agar agar flakes plus 1/4 cup cold water
-1/2 tablespoon kudzu or arrowroot plus small amount water for dissolving
-1 cup apple juice
-sweetener of your choice (I use maple syrup or agavé syrup)

Sprinkle the agar agar into the 1/4 cup cold water and let soften while you wash and cut the apples. Combine the cranberries, apples, raisins, cinnamon stick and water or juice in a large pot. Bring to a boil, add the agar agar and stir it in. Reduce the heat and bubble gently for about 10 minutes - or until the cranberries open, the apples soften and the agar agar is dissolved. Place the kudzu or arrowroot (or cornstarch) in a cup and add just enough water to dissolve it. Add this to the sauce and bubble for a minute until the sauce clarifies. Add the sweetener of your choice in the amount you prefer. (Start with 1/4 cup for tangy sauce.) Add vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and cool.

1 comment:

  1. Might I add that it makes a fabulous frozen dessert, as I discovered last week. We had to take a sack lunch on a field trip, and I wanted to keep my matzah sandwich from spoiling, so I put some of this in a container and stuck it in the freezer. It kept my lunch cold and I figured it would thaw by lunchtime. Wrong! But in its mostly frozen state, it turned out to be sooooooo delicious that I would definitely do it again!

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