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Hot Spiced Cranberry and Apple Sauce recipe


Photo: Hot Spiced Cranberry and Apple Sauce and Apple Chilli Jelly

Photo: Hot Spiced Cranberry and Apple Sauce and Apple Chilli Jelly

When I worked out how much money I was making from the jars of cranberry and clementine sauce on my gate side stand I found that I was barely breaking even. Cranberries are expensive in the UK – as most of them are imported from America. I love the intensity of my quick cranberry sauce but surely I could come up with something a little bit different that would pad out the cranberries and make a delicious ‘have with anything’ thick fruity sauce.

I don’t know which inspirational angels were floating in the kitchen but this sauce is a bit of a winner. Deeply fruity with a chilli kick. As it uses the by product of the Hot Apple Chilli Jelly it’s very economical too.

Hot Spiced Cranberry and Apple Sauce

500ml of apple and chilli pulp left over from the Apple Chilli Jelly recipe
300g of cranberries
100ml of apple juice
1 star anise
500g of sugar
Half a teaspoon of allspice
25-50ml of port


Wash and pick over the cranberries. Put them in a saucepan with the apple juice and heat them gently into they soften and burst. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile pass the pulp through a sieve or even easier use a food mill if you are lucky enough to own one.

Then in a large heavy bottomed high sided saucepan gently heat the apple a chilli pulp stirring every now and then to stop it sticking it will become very gloopy so keep a lid on the pot in between stirring.

When the cranberries are soft add them and their juice to the hot pureed apple mixture and stir well. Add the allspice, the star anise and the sugar.

Stir well until the sugar has dissolved over a very gentle heat.

Then turn the heat up to medium and stir until the mixture starts to thicken and coat the spoon. When you see the base of the saucepan for a few seconds the sauce is ready. This bit can be quite tricky as the mixture has a tendency to spit. I used a very long handled wooden spoon and used the lid of the saucepan as a shield.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, take out the star anise and stir in the port. Pot in hot sterilised jars with metal lids and process in a hot water bath for ten minutes. If you want to skip the hot water bath stage the sauce needs to be kept in the fridge and eaten within a few weeks.

  Leave a reply


  1. hi, this looks great – I have 2kg of apples that need using (having converted the 1st 8 kg into apple butter and apple pie filling!) so will get started on the jelly today and then make this later in the week! May I just ask, is the port an essential part of this recipe, or do you think it could be replaced by some other alcohol? thanks!

  2. Just thought to add that there is a free alternative to cranberries for all of you who love foraging: European Cornel, also called Cornel berries or Cornelian Cherries. The tree or shrub is often planted in parks or as a hedge. For more information, have a look at the Wikipedia article
    The fruit tastes lovely as a jam, jelly, alone or mixed with other fruit such as apple or peaches.

  3. Eleanor the Great

    Hi, Sarah! I do a lot of hot water-bath canning. It’s been the standard in the States, because it’s more certain to preserve things than not canning them at all, although plenty of people still use wax atop things like jellies.

    There are a lot of websites that have a lot of good information. One is the USA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation (part of the USDA), that offers a lot of very detailed sorts of instruction.

    I would suggest a good beginning canning book, many of which are available from libraries (at least in the US, where I am). Ball’s “Blue Book of Preserving” is a good beginner one, the USDA has a bunch of publications out, and most canning books do have a descriptive section on basics.

    A hint to any people wanting to start water-bath canning – be careful with older recipes! The acidity of fruit has changed over the years, and even tomatoes can lack the acidity that is necessary for proper preservation using water-bath techniques. It’s best to stick with newer recipes when beginning, or use a pressure canner as you would with veggies and meats.

    Fun stuff, though! I hope you have fun, Sarah! 🙂

  4. oh duh, have just found the slow cooker butter recipe, excellent, my mother in law has a orchard and my mum has a slow cooker lol!

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