How to Make Cranapplesauce (Cranberry - Apple sauce) - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs
This month's notes: February 2017: Stored US apples are still available. See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops.
Easter will be April 16, 2017 - if you want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!
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How to Make Homemade Cran-Apple Sauce
It is easy to make and can, if you want some for later! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated.
Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of 12 months to 18 months, and require no special attention.
Directions for Making Cranapplesauce
Ingredients and Equipment
Makes about 1 quart of cranapplesuace
If you plan to can it for later:
Recipe and Directions
Step 1 - Selecting the apples
The most important step! You need apples that are sweet - that way, you can use less refined sugar or other sweetener!
Instead, choose apples that are naturally sweet, like Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Rome and always use a mixture - never just one type. The Fuji's and Gala's give it an aromatic flavor! Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are also excellent, sweet, flavorful apples.
Step 2 - If you are canning: Wash the jars and lids
Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot cranapplesauce.
Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.
Step 3- Wash the apples and cranberries
Apples: Just wash the apples in cold water, no soap.
We're going to remove the skins anyway, so don't spend too much time on it.
You can remove any stickers that the grocery store put on the apples,
though. Peelers often get suck on those.
Pour them in to a large bowl of cold water, and swirl them around, scoop
them out with your fingers, feeling for any mushy berries, as you scoop.
Discard any mushy, soft berries.
The picture of the 4 berries shows you unripe through ripe. I'd throw
out the one on the far left, but use the other 3.
Step 4 - Peel the apples
The fastest way to peel the apples is one of these peelers! With firm apples, it takes about 20 seconds per apple. These apple peelers don't work well on soft, mushy apples or apples with soft spots on them. In that case your stuck with a hand peeler!
Once they're peeled, remove any remaining brown spots (see the photos at right - before removing the blemishes.)
Step 5 - Core and slice the apples
can use a knife, but the $5 corer/slicer you see in the photo is available
at any kitchen store (Bed, Bath and beyond, local "big box" stores, etc.),
and is the fastest, easiest way. But any slices that are between ¼-inch and
1/2 inch thick will do.
Remove seeds, stems, any hard parts near the seeds and brown or soft spots.
Here are the apple slices. Now, you you want smaller chunks, just cut the apple slices in half again. You don't need to: they will tend to break up some during cooking, anyway.
Step 6 - Start the cranberries cooking
They take longer than the apples, so put 2 inches of water (or cranberry or apple juice) in a pot, get it boiling and pour the cranberries in. Let them cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice (you'll hear the berries popping, as the berries cook - you'll kids will get a kick out of that).
Step 7 - Add the apples
When the berries have started popping, and you've stirred them a couple of times, add the apples. Now just cook on medium heat until the apples feel soft with a fork all the way through (about 10 - 15 minutes after you've added them). Note: in general, you'll want about equal amounts of cranberries to peeled, slice apples. Of course, if you want it tarter, use more cranberries; sweeter or more apple-y, then add more apples!
Step 8 - Sweeten the cranapplesauce
Turn off the heat. Add sugar to taste. Start out with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar or Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar; if you use another form, you'll need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer, , as you prefer.
If you don't plan to can any, you're done! Just serve warm or cold!
If you want to can for later, continue through to steps 9 and 10.
The cranapplesauce does not need any further cooking; just keep it hot until you get enough made to fill the jars you will put into the canner (Canners hold seven jars at once, whether they are quart or pint size)
Step 9 - Fill the jars and process them in the water bath
Fill them to within 1/2 inch of the top, wipe any spilled cranapplesauce of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 min. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see the chart at the bottom of this page.
Step 10 - Remove and cool the jars - Done
the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping
them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then
remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen
them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture.
Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying
that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently,
with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound),
it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you
can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar,
then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them
(with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
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