Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Raspberries

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I use a cranberry sauce recipe for Thanksgiving that has been in my family longer than I have.  My aunt received the recipe over 40 years ago from a colleague in New Jersey, who received it from someone who lived in her apartment building in New York City.  I have loved this cranberry sauce for as long as I can remember.  It makes no sense to me why I ever tried other recipes since this one is everything a cranberry sauce should be — uncomplicated, tart, slightly sweet, chunky and fresh.  My kids eat it in a bowl with a spoon, on top of oatmeal, pancakes, or French toast, or swirled into plain yogurt.  And of course, it’s divine on turkey or a turkey sandwich.

The original recipe shows its age a bit since it calls for 1 pound of fresh cranberries, because Ocean Spray used to make their bags in 1-pound sizes.  Now they’re 12 ounces.  The recipe also calls for frozen raspberries instead of fresh because I don’t think you could possibly get fresh raspberries in November 40 years ago.  I have made my own small changes, but it still tastes just as delicious.  I couldn’t help trying to cut back on the sugar a bit by substituting apple juice for water and reducing the quantity of sugar.  And this year I used sucanat in place of granulated sugar and no one could tell the difference.  My aunt’s recipe originally called for “chopped pecans to taste” which I have never put in simply because when I first started making the cranberry sauce, pecans were out of my budget.  So I’ve left them out all these years and I can’t say I miss them.

One thing that has never changed is that I make the cranberry sauce every year the Sunday before Thanksgiving because my aunt does, too.  We call each other on Sunday morning.  In fact, I just got off the phone with her.  “Are you chopping apples?”  “I sure am!”  I make enough for our Thanksgiving dinner with a little for leftovers (two times the recipe.)  But my aunt makes vats of it and then drives around town delivering jars of cranberry sauce to all of her lucky friends.  Our conversation cracked me up this year as she informed me she found BPA-free plastic containers for her sauce and this year she went organic with all the fruit.  I think she’s been reading my blog.  Although when I mentioned the sucanat to her, she said “don’t push it.”

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Raspberries
Serves: makes about 5 cups
  • ½ cup granulated sugar or sucanat (you can add more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and picked through for bruised ones
  • 1 10-ounce bag of unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 2 apples (any variety is fine), peeled and diced (same size as a cranberry)
  • chopped pecans to taste (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar or sucanat and apple juice and bring to a boil. Add cranberries, cover and boil until berries pop, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add raspberries and stir.
  3. Add apples and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add chopped nuts if desired.
  5. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
This will thicken as it cools and the apples will turn red.

Good idea to make this the Sunday before Thanksgiving!


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  1. Debbie Evans says

    Hi Pamela, I made this yesterday but mine is overwhelmingly raspberry flavored? What do you recommend I do to get more cranberry flavor to it? I was thinking about just doing step 1 with another 1/2 bag of cranberries and adding to the existing sauce once it’s cooled- what do you think? I’m not sure why mine came out so raspberry-ish???

    • Pamela says

      hmmm….not sure. Perhaps your proportions were off. You need more than a standard bag of cranberries. I think the bags are 12 ounces and you need 1 pound which is 16 ounces. Regardless, you can definitely add more cranberries. If you want to add another 1/2 bag, that’s 6 ounces. But you only want to add about 1/4 cup more sugar and maybe 1/14-1/3 cup apple juice since you’re not adding the remaining ingredients. Let me know if that makes sense. Thanks!

  2. james says

    I cannot get over how delicious this cranberry sauce is. We had 14 people for Thanksgiving this year & it was such a hit. Guests that have never liked cranberry sauce were scooping it onto their plates. I’ve had it the past two morning w/ my plain greek yogurt & a sprinkling of gluten free granola + last night i enjoyed it over a scoop of coconut bliss. thank you Pamela!!!

    • Pamela says

      So great to hear, James! I have to agree. This cranberry sauce has been part of my Thanksgiving since I was born and I have never tried another that I like better. I make three times the recipe so we can enjoy it for days after just like you do. Thank you for the comment!

  3. The Beech Family says

    I specially made this just for my family and friends on this Thanksgiving Day. It was a huge hit and everyone loved it! After eating so much of this at your house, there was no way that I couldn’t not make it! Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo

  4. Patricia says

    This is just the type of lower sugar recipe I was looking for. I have a Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic in my family, plus we are all trying to eat healthier. I’m going to make it today…thank you for sharing

    • Pamela says

      It will be great, Patricia. I really have taken the sugar as low as it can go and still have my kids think it’s delicious. Definitely make it today as you want it to refrigerate it so it thickens up and the flavors meld. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  5. Lisa says

    OK Miss Pamela…the cranberry sauce is in the fridge, the bread for the stuffing is cubed, baked and in a ziploc, the bird from Grow is brining, and the vinaigrettes are waiting for Thanksgiving! Tons of gratitude for keeping me on track with your secret timeline…I am breathing easy and LOVING the preparation! I also made the Raw Kale Salad and the Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup for dinner last night…my family wants to know what you did to me…LOL…xo YUM!!!!!!!!

  6. Lynette says

    I made this tonight. I had to take it away from my son so he wouldn’t eat it all. I have a feeling I am going to have to make more before Thursday. Super easy and so good!

    • Pamela says

      That’s awesome, Lynette. You know what’s hilarious? I had a craving for something sweet, so I just put some on top of yogurt with some chopped nuts. I’m eating it right this second and it’s freakin’ good.

  7. Tina Brutsch says

    It’s Sunday and I made the cranberry sauce. I’m just concerned that my apples are not soft. Is that how it is supposed to be? It looks beautiful!

    • Pamela says

      Don’t be concerned. The apples will soften slightly as they sit in the sauce to cool. It will be delicious. The sauce is supposed to be chunky. If you want more of a relish, you can take some of the sauce and pulse it in the food processor.

  8. Mia says

    I’m so pleased that everyone is enjoying the cranberry sauce recipe! Here’s an added bonus—–put some of the sauce over vanilla ice cream or pound cake.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  9. Isabella says

    This looks like a great recipe. I’m actually assigned to bring the cranberry sauce to the Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for another great recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!


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