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Holiday Cranberry Applesauce
September 19, 2010

Mmmm.... Sooooo yummy!!! I've been eyeing this for a while. Now that apple season is at its peak (yea!), I decided to try this out. It's almost fall and I just can't WAIT any longer to make all of my seasonal favs - pumpkin & maple everything (lol!), apple pie / crisp, applesauce, cider, etc. The smell of this while simmering was divine (it does smell like Christmas!)! I must admit, it took me 2 batches to get this right.... Having said that, I have some CRITICAL tips to help you avoid what I did wrong. I followed the recipe exact on my 1st attempt. My applesauce was nearly mush, but b/c I left the skins on, I had to briefly pulse in my blender. My KitchenAid is VERY powerful. One pulse (to break down the skins) was enough to turn my "sauce" to "liquid!" For my 2nd attempt, I peeled my apples, cooked for 15 min. ONLY (I stopped after step 1), took everything off the burner, allowed to cool slightly & then GENTLY mashed w/ a potato masher. My applesauce was still quite smooth, but had an ever so slightly chunky texture (perfect!). NOTE: I could not find a bulk-sized bag of red hot candies. My grocer only sells the sm. 2 oz. bottles in the baking aisle at $1.99 ea. (ikes!). I opted to use a lg. box (think movie theater sze.) of Hot Tamales. One box is exactly 2/3 c. For my 2nd batch, I used 1 1/2 boxes (there wasn't enough cinnamon flavor in my first one, but 1.5 boxes was a bit too much... grr!). Thx. for sharing, Jean! I'm glad I tried your recipe. :-)

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