Easy to make homemade applesauce that combines apples and cranberries with no sugar needed. This beautiful sauce can be made in no time at all in the Instant Pot. Or if you have the time, you can let it go in your slow cooker.
For the most part we view berries as a summer time fruit.
But their is one berry that is the king of the fall - the cranberry.
I love being able to scoring fresh cranberries at the store this time of year. For the most part I have used them to make cranberry sauce. But this year I am searching out other uses for them.
One idea I came upon was combining cranberries with another favorite fall fruit: apples to make another type of sauce.
Adding cranberries to applesauce is a great way to boost the flavor of the sauce as well as add the nutrition that comes from cranberries. Also the cranberries give the sauce an eye popping rosy color.
Below you will find my recipe for making this sauce. It can be made by either the slow cook method in a slow cooker or fast in an Instant Pot. Or even just on the stove top. You got options.
What Apples To Use to Make the Sauce?
Normally when I make my own applesauce I try to get a nice balance of apples. I like to use some sweet apples and some tart apples.
However since I am adding a really tart element in the cranberries and don't want to add any sugar, I stick to sweet apples for this sauce. Gala and Fuij are the two easiest options to find. Use whatever sweet apple you can get your hands on.
How to Make Cranberry Applesauce
Let me take you through the steps to make the applesauce with the Instant Pot.Jump to the recipe for the slow cooker instructions.
I like the Instant Pot because it does the job super fast and it still just as tasty.
Core the apples is all I do to prep them. I do not peel them.
To get a smooth sauce, when the apples are done, I run them through a food mill. Or you can hit the whole thing with a stick blender, I find that works really well.
Add in 1 cup of fresh cranberries. That is enough to give the sauce, it's color and flavor without overpowering it with tartnesss that you would need to add sugar to be palatable.
Cook time is just 1 minute. That's all it takes.
You need to add some liquid to the pot. About ¼ cup is enough for the 4 pounds of apples this recipe calls for. For the liquid use water, apple juice or apple cider.
Since you are only adding a small amount of liquid it doesn't take the pot long to come to pressure.
Look at the Instant Pot transforms those apples in just a minute of high pressure cooking. Its amazing.
My immersion blender makes short work for smoothing out the applesauce. It only took about 2 minutes to get it where I wanted it (twice as long as the pressure time!).
That's it. Simple and delicious.
I am not saying don't make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year, but this option too will be a welcomed hit at your table you might as well do both. Besides cranberries are only in season for a short time of the year. So live it up.
More Cranberry and Apple Recipes to Try
Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce
No Sugar Added Cranberry Applesauce
- 4 pounds Fuji, Gala, or other sweet apples
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup apple cider or juice
- cinnamon optional
- Slice the apples. Keep the skins on them if you have a food mill or stick blender. This will add color and nutrients to your sauce. If you don't have either you can then peel the apples.
- Dump your apple slices in your cooking vessel along with the cider and cranberries. If you are using a slow cooker, just let your apples cook until they become mush, it may take a few hours. If you are using a pressure cooker, look on your lid and bring to full pressure and then cook for just 1 minute.
- Process through a food mill or use a stick blender to smooth out.
- Serve warm or refrigerate.
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