I decided a few weeks back to update my traditional cranberry sauce and to replace the sugar with one of the more natural sweeteners. I tried xylitol, honey, maple syrup and combining them with agave and apple concentrate. All the sauces had a tartness which I love but my ever watchful judge Tony pointed out it’d be just too much for anyone expecting the sweetness more commonly associated with cranberry sauce.
So on I experimented. Just in case you’re wondering how tart I like things, years ago one of my most enjoyable pastimes was eating lemons.
What about apple?
You’ll probably think this a bit weird but some of my best solutions come to me as I wake in the mornings. So a week ago, waking up longing for a bowl of apple sauce the urge came to try it out with the cranberry sauce.
I used sweet eating apples as they hold their shape during cooking and instead of using vanilla extract I put in Cardamom, purely because the fresh seeds have a delicious floral aroma which for me in any case is just addictive
Homemade Agave sweetened Cranberry, Apple & Cardamom Sauce hits the ground
- 1 sweet apple, cored, skinned and chopped into bitesized chunks
- 1/4 cup water
- Seeds from 12 cardamom pods, grinded in a pestle and mortar
- 170g fresh cranberries
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, giving them a quick stir to mix them around.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes on a low heat.
- Give a gentle stir a couple of times during cooking.
You need to be careful not to over stir as the cranberries are very fragile and tend to mush up into pulp otherwise. Keep a check but not stir like crazy as you would soup etc.
- Before removing from the heat ensure the apples are cooked. Remember to cut them into bite sized chunks so they cook the same time as the cranberries.
- This sauce can be used immediately but if left to go cold it will thicken up and the sauce even more syrupy. You’re left with a delicious zingy, syrupy and chunky sauce.
Tips for using it
Very handy sauce with cold dishes, like leftover chicken and turkey. I also find it delicious with my sweet spelt pancakes with dairy-free cream drizzled on top. If you’re thinking of using it instead of the usual ultra sweet cranberry sauce test it first as it is tart with a hint of sweetness and I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste. I really just wanted a change from the sweet cranberry sauce I usually serve up. To me I always think I’m serving jam with the main dish – but maybe that’s just me?
If you don’t use it all straight away then store it in a sealed container in the fridge.
What about you?
Are you a stickler for the traditional sweet cranberry sauce or have you always made a tart variation as above. Love to hear if you try it out and if you would prefer to stay with your sweet variation. That’s it for now. Due to a very close family bereavement I’ll be busy for the rest of the week so may not get to post anything up. Anyway hope you all have a fantastic week and chat next week. Roll on Halloween, one of my favourite times of the year.