Cranberry Applesauce | Canning Recipe

by Becky
Published: Updated:

Cranberry applesauce is a delicious alternative to plain applesauce. It combines the sweetness of the apples with the tart cranberries allowing for a little less sugar and a winning flavor combination! This recipe for cranberry applesauce is safe to preserve with a water bath canner.

Why Bother Making Homemade Cranberry Applesauce?

If you’ve ever made homemade applesauce before you know the answer to this question. It’s all about taste! Homemade applesauce and cranberry applesauce has a fresh flavor that is unmatched by its commercialized equivalent. As the creator of homemade cranberry applesauce, you know the quality of the fruit that went into it.

While commercial applesauce is made in a similar fashion there is really no contest between the two. Homemade wins every time.

You can also control what kind of sugar you’d like to use, and how much, if any at all.

Cranberry Applesauce as a Canning Recipe

Both cranberries and apples are high acid foods, meaning they are safe to process in a water bath canner. I also add a some lemon juice to ensure acidity and preserve color.

This recipe makes roughly 7 quarts, or you can mix quarts and pints. But keep the processing time the same! Canned cranberry applesauce will last for approximately two years. It can definitely last beyond that point but the quality and color of the produced food lessens after that point.

New to canning? You can find a canning equipment list HERE. You can also find more detailed information on how to can this particular recipe below

Ways to process Apples and Cranberries to Make a Sauce

My preferred method of cooking apples and cranberries into sauce is to cut apples into quarters and cook them in a saucepan on a stovetop along with the cranberries. Then put them through a sauce maker or food mill. I use THIS sauce maker, it’s awesome!

If you don’t have all the necessary equipment, you can use different methods. You can soften the apple and cranberries in a saucepan, a crockpot on low, or even the oven on low (225ºF). The key to any sauce is to make sure it doesn’t get brown or burnt! Low and slow is always the way to cook and stir it often!

I also put a cup of water in the bottom of my pan so nothing sticks before the juices start to release.

After cooking, an alternative method is to push the apples and cranberries through a sieve to remove the seeds and skins if you didn’t have a food mill or sauce maker. This method is much more time consuming but it can be done.

Cranberry Applesauce

Cranberry applesauce is a delicious alternative to plain applesauce. It combines the sweetness of the apples with the tart cranberries allowing for a little less sugar and a winning flavor combination! This recipe for cranberry applesauce is safe to preserve with a water bath canner.
Course: Appetizer, Autumn, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: applesauce, canning, cranberry, preserving, sauce
Servings: 6 quarts
Calories: 824kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 10 lbs apples washed and quartered
  • 5 lbs cranberries
  • 2 Cups Sugar Edited 2024 to add: I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize I originally left the sugar out of the recipe by an oversight. Sugar amount depends on apple sweetness so start with 1 cup and add until it tastes good to you. The sugar doesn’t effect canning safety for this recipe.
  • 1/4 cup canned lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place water, apples, and cranberries in a very large saucepan.
  • Cover and simmer on medium low heat, stirring often to prevent scorching
  • Meanwhile, prepare a water bath canner and jars.
  • After the cranberries and apples have fully softened, run through a food mill, sauce maker, or sieve to remove both skins and seeds.
  • Return to the saucepan and keep warm on low heat. Add in sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Ladle hot cranberry applesauce into half pint jars leaving a 1/2 inch of head space. Wipe rim. Center lid on the jar. Screw on the band with until it is finger tip-tight.
  • Place jars in canner and ensure the jars have at least one inch of water above the tops of the jars.
  • Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Remove lid, turn off heat, wait 5-10 minutes then remove jars. Let cool and store.

Nutrition

Calories: 824kcal | Carbohydrates: 216g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 1113mg | Fiber: 32g | Sugar: 161g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

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9 comments

Katie C. June 2, 2023 - 1:02 pm

That sure looks pretty! You must have bought and froze the cranberries when they were in season because I don’t see them in the store these days. I make and can sugarless applesauce in my slow cooker. Since I buy my apples, not know about what pesticides were used, I peel, core and slice my apples. It only takes about three hours-ish in the slow cooker and I don’t have to worry about it burning. I puree mine in the blender because I like to bake with it too. It usually takes two loads in the slow cooker to get a full WB canner of pints so I store the first batch in the fridge and then reheat it all on the stovetop to can.

You are right. Once you taste the homemade applesauce, you will never go back to the store bought again 😋

Pretty impressive that you are able to do all this right after having a baby! Take care, Katie C.

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Shelly Smith June 7, 2023 - 4:24 pm

Love your blog and everything you are doing!
Sadly, since you have monetized it, there are ads popping up on it that are inappropriate. 🙁

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theseasonalhomestead June 8, 2023 - 2:16 am

Hi Shelly! Thanks! I’m sorry you had a bad experience with the ads. The ad company I use, Mediavine, usually does a good job keeping everything family friendly. The ads also vary based on user, so the ads I see are different from what you see. If you ever see something like that again. Just click the little “m” on the bottom right and report the ad.

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Tara June 10, 2023 - 2:26 am

This looks delicious! Does the process time need adjusted for altitude?

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theseasonalhomestead June 18, 2023 - 3:40 am

Yes! Sorry I forgot to mention that!

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Tara June 20, 2023 - 3:01 pm

Thank you for replying! Is I’m in southern Missouri, would I add 5 minutes to total 25 minutes? I think I’m barely above sea level similar to you so I wasn’t sure if 20 minutes is actually ok for me or if 25 would be better…

Also have to add your YouTube videos are SO addictive. I dabble a little in growing our own food and trying to preserve. The videos give me so much motivation and I’m constantly amazed at the life you’ve built for your family. Such lost arts you are teaching your kiddos!

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theseasonalhomestead July 16, 2023 - 4:38 am

Yes, by the book it should be 25 minutes, but honestly you could really do either and it would be ok. We are the same, just barely higher than 1000ft above sea level.

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Tiffany May 29, 2024 - 2:55 pm

Does it matter what kind of sugar you use? Organic cane or coconut sugar or even maple sugar?

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Becky May 31, 2024 - 12:02 am

It doesn’t matter what type of sugar. I use organic cane sugar because it’s the most neutral in flavor. I’ve used coconut sugar in a similar canning recipe before and found it overpowering in flavor. But if that doesn’t bother you, any of those kinds are safe to use.

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