Cinnamon Spiced Apple and Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving is a big holiday for us. Not only does the holiday celebrate a message of gratitude and community (two things we hold pretty close to our heart here at Spices Inc World Headquarters), but it’s also a holiday that is pretty incredibly focused on FOOD- and we’re into food. While our own company has some division between the preferred centerpieces of turkey, ham, or just a big bowl of mashed potatoes, there is one key dish shared on everyone’s table: Cranberry Sauce.
Let’s back up a little bit. Why are cranberries so important for Thanksgiving? It’s important to remember that often the commercialized holidays that we see in mainstream media is focused on a very specific history of one particular group of Americans, and that’s people who are descended from European immigrants. The food and traditions that are celebrated in these communities can often be traced back to their native country, like enjoying Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. The novelty of cranberries is that they’re one of the few foods we enjoy today that firmly have their origins in American soil, being just one of three fruits that are native to the United States.
Considering how commonplace it is for people to settle for store-bought cranberry sauce (imagine a row of cans stretched out over the length of 65,700 football fields), making your own homemade cranberry sauce is so easy! And you can customize it to your tastes! Why haven’t you made some yet? For our cranberry sauce recipe, Chef Jeff combined cranberries with another patriotic fruit, Gala apples. In case you didn’t read our apple blog, Gala apples are one of the most popular apples in the US, and they’re a naturally sweet contrast for contrast against the tart cranberries so you can hopefully minimize the amount of brown sugar you have to use. Using a mixture of fresh cranberries and 100% cranberry juice- which is harder to find than you might think- Jeff also added a little bit of orange peel which added a citrus-y twist to the dish without overpowering sourness. To thicken your sauce, Jeff recommends making a slurry out of some arrowroot powder. “Slurry” might sound like a made-up word, but all it really refers to is whisking a thickener like flour into a smaller amount of liquid before adding it to a larger amount of liquid so that it’s easier to make sure it’s all incorporated evenly. Last but not least, don’t skip on the spice for this spiced cranberry sauce! Jeff went for his preferred cinnamon medium, Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks, but you could also go for Cassia sticks, pre-ground cinnamon if that’s all you have, or maybe even some pumpkin pie spice… start with a little bit less and taste as you go to make sure you get your proportions in order, and you’ll be golden!
- In a medium saucepan, bring 8 oz of cranberries, cranberry juice, orange peel, cinnamon stick, and brown sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add apples and cook for another 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Take a cup of the liquid from the saucepan, and pour it in a small bowl. Add 2 tsp Arrowroot powder and whisk thoroughly until there are no lumps.
- Slowly stir in the thickened liquid to the rest of the liquid. Add the remaining 4oz of cranberries and stir well. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon stick from sauce and pour into a serving bowl. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe note: You can freeze any leftover cranberry sauce. To serve after frozen, just bring back to room temperature.