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Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Break out of the cranberry sauce rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce! Cranberries are simmered with brown sugar, apple cider, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and tangerine zest!

Break out of the cranberry rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce| An easy recipe for any night or your holiday feast!

Some days flavor combinations work themselves into every fiber of my being and, try as I might, I can’t shake them. Just me?

But who wants to shake them when you end up with things like Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce with star anise, cardamom and cinnamon?!

Break out of the cranberry rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce| An easy recipe for any night or your holiday feast!

I’ve already professed my undying love for Cranberry Sauce, so I won’t bore you with it again, but I just have one teenie tiny anecdote that demonstrates just how much I adore cranberry sauce (and how much of a moron I was in college).

My mom sent me care packages in college and occasionally she included jars of homemade Cranberry Chutney. One time the lid shattered in transit. Did I throw it away because it is highly inadvisable to eat glass?

No, this crazy person picked out all the visible shards and then ate very carefully so as not to ingest or chew any glass. This is probably on the list of the dumbest culinary things I’ve done, but I lived to tell you about it.

Break out of the cranberry rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce| An easy recipe for any night or your holiday feast!

The takeaways here: I take my cranberry sauce very seriously and don’t ship cranberry chutney in glass jars to college freshmen who loathe cafeteria food. Mmmk?

But this is not Nana’s cranberry chutney. This is Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce, and it is so good, it would be a tragedy to limit it to the Thanksgiving Feast Table.

 Break out of the cranberry rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce| An easy recipe for any night or your holiday feast!

And it’s so easy that there is absolutely zero excuse not to make this for a weeknight dinner. Hello store bought rotisserie chicken, I’m lookin’ at you! When served with homemade cranberry sauce it will seem decadent and the opposite of mundane!

Oh come on, I buy rotisserie chickens too. Don’t let’s pretend that we haven’t all been there.

Break out of the cranberry rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce| An easy recipe for any night or your holiday feast!

This tantalizing sauce starts the usual way with fresh cranberries simmering in a pot with brown sugar, but now we break out of the cranberry rut and amp up the flavor with apple cider, star anise, cardamom, a generous amount of cinnamon and tangerine zest.
Oh. Yes. I. Did.

Tangerine zest.

Break out of the cranberry rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce| An easy recipe for any night or your holiday feast!

There are times when even lemon zest and orange zest lose their star power in my eyes and I go searching for something new and different. And the flavor is incredible! Just a little zest provides a subtle tangerine flavor and scent that is irresistible.

And if all that wasn’t enough, I’ve got big, out of the box, plans for this sauce! Even beyond Wednesday night rotisserie chicken. Stay tuned.

Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 2 cups

Break out of the cranberry sauce rut with this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce! Cranberries are simmered with brown sugar, apple cider, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and tangerine zest!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz bag of fresh cranberries (or you can use previously frozen fresh cranberries)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider, natural
  • 1 small granny smith apple, pealed and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 5 cardamom pods (or more, just make sure you count so you can find them all!)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh tangerine zest (bright orange parts only)

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pot heat the cranberries, sugar, and apple cider over medium-high heat until the cranberries pop.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the star anise. You could stop cooking it at this point but I like to cook my cranberry sauce at least an hour.
  3. After an additional 30 minutes remove your cardamom pods (make sure you get them all!!) and allow to cool or serve warm.
https://americanheritagecooking.com/2014/11/spiced-apple-cider-cranberry-sauce/

AHC put the “Delicious” in Festive!

(Is there no “delicious” in festive? Semantics.)

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This recipe is linked to: Inspiration Monday, Merry Monday, Munching Monday, Monday Funday, Two Cup Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Party Time, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Gluten Free Wednesday, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Flashback Friday, Saturday Night Fever, Show Stopping Saturdays, Sweet and Savoury Sundays

43 Comments

  • Shashi @ runninsrilankan
    November 19, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Girl – your pictures are GORGEOUS! And tangerine zest – why that’s freakin BRILLIANT! So brilliant that it covers up the mind boggling fact that you ate cranberry chutney from a broken glass container!!! GAAAHHHHHH!!!!
    Looking forward to your “big, out of the box, plans” for this delectable apple cider cranberry sauce – specially if it involves gifting it to a fellow Atlanta Blogger! 😉

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks, Shashi!!! Eating glass is no bueno. It wasn’t exactly an experience that I would repeat. 🙂 I can’t wait to share my latest creation!!! Patience.

      Reply
  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    November 19, 2014 at 8:33 am

    What a beautiful sauce! I am always up for trying new recipes for cranberry sauce. Love the spiced flavors!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks, Ashley!

      Reply
  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    November 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Apple cider sounds like a great flavor to enhance cranberry sauce! And I love all of the spices that you put into this. Beautiful photos! (And rotisserie chicken? Um, totally a lifesaver sometimes!)

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Amen to rotisserie chicken! Isn’t it the worst when you have your last minute meal all planned around them and they are out!?!?! Crisis

      Reply
  • Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek
    November 19, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Can you believe that my husband and two boys have chosen canned cranberry jelly over homemade! This is the first year that I am cooking for my in-laws. I asked if they wanted me to make grammy’s famous homemade cranberry jelly or canned. They chose the can! My husband grew up with Cool Whip also. I don’t even offer to buy that. It’s homemade whipped cream. That is the only choice.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:29 am

      NOOOO!!! That is just…I am so sorry. You should just make some homemade cranberry sauce just for you and hopefully they will decide that it tastes so much better without the added can flavor. 🙂

      I am 100% with you on Cool Whip. My husband also grew up on it and I refuse to buy it. Once I told him it was made with vegetable oil and not cream , he has never looked back. Plus, as you know, nothing tastes as good as sweetened whipped cream! Btw – I hosted Thanksgiving for my in-laws last year for the first time and I didn’t even ask if they wanted the usual canned cranberry sauce! lol. So much easier to ask for forgiveness later 😉

      Reply
  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
    November 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Oh my gosh, this cranberry sauce looks amazing, Lindsey! I am so loving the apple cider addition to this. And tangerine zest? Love it! I can’t wait to see what other recipes you come with using this sauce!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks, Gayle! I am so obsessed! I’ve been eating it in my yogurt even 🙂

      Reply
  • Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
    November 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Cranberries with cinnamon, anise and tangerine zest.. great flavors in one sauce. Delicious! Pinned it:)

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks for the pin Ilona!

      Reply
  • marcie
    November 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    I LOVE the sound of this, Lindsey, and I too take my cranberry sauce very seriously! The star anise sounds wonderful in here, and I’ve never simmered it in apple cider. This I have to try! Pinned. 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      I hadn’t either but the apple cider was there and it sounded good in my head…and it was. I hope you try it! Thanks for the pin!

      Reply
  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
    November 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    love this spin on cranberry sauce!!! and cinnamon + star anise = magic. love this!!!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks, Alice! I agree – totally magic! 🙂

      Reply
  • Lelia Farr
    November 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    I think a new cupcake creation is coming!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Maybe… 😉

      Reply
  • Manali @ CookWithManali
    November 19, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I love all the spices that you have added in there, looks amazing! Beautiful pictures as always Lindsey!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Thanks, Manali!

      Reply
  • David @ Spiced
    November 20, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Growing up my Mom was the only one who wanted cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. Since it was only her, she usually just used the pre-made stuff. No wonder I didn’t like it! Now this version? That’s a whole new story…I think I need a bowl of this on my Thanksgiving table. The star anise addition? Clutch! And I think I know your plans for this cranberry sauce…it’s going inside of a cupcake!! Perhaps a stuffing cupcake with a turkey frosting? Uh. I think I just went too far there. 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

      How did you know?! Am I that predictable? 🙂 And just eww. Turkey frosting.
      Your poor mom. I would have made cranberry sauce just for me and then secretly been on a mission to convert the rest of the family. I bet you would have jumped on board then!You should definitely make this cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving. Its super easy and delicious as long as you remember to take out all the cardamom pods!

      Reply
  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    November 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    This is such a gorgeous looking sauce! I love the tangerine zest and those wonderful spices you added in here – the star anise and cardamom must have made this smell so magical while cooking up. Oh my and I can’t wait to see what you created with this sauce 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      It smelled heavenly! Just like the holidays should smell! Thanks, Kelly!

      Reply
  • Julianne @ Beyond Frosting
    November 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I am not a cranberry sauce fan myself but I love that this has a spiced cider component!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Sadness. I want to make you like it but I know it doesn’t work like that 🙁

      Reply
  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen
    November 21, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I love cranberry chutney, but I’m not sure I would have picked glass out to eat it. Something with chocolate, yes.
    These have to be the most beautiful pictures of cranberry sauce I have seen. Those reds and yellows really pop. Pinning!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Haha! Now I know your weakness! Maybe you would have felt differently freshman year of college…homemade food was homemade food! 🙂 And thanks for the pin!

      Reply
  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure
    November 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I love the spices you used in this cranberry sauce. Will definitely need to try it out. It looks wonderful. Would be nice to see step by step photos on your recipes, I find them very helpful.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      I hope you do try it out, Ella! I wish I had the time to take step-by-step photos of my recipes…I also want to start making videos, but I just can’t right now. Yours are all so perfect! Some day 🙂

      Reply
  • Sierra Schuehle
    October 18, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Hi! I’m writing an article on Thanksgiving recipes for my high school’s newspaper and was wondering if I could feature your apple cider cranberry sauce recipe? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      October 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Sierra! I would love that! Please just give appropriate credit to me for my recipe and/or photo including the full web address of my site. Thank you so much for wanting to feature my cranberry sauce!

      Reply
  • Ashley
    October 27, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I just want to say you and this recipe are awesome. God bless you!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      October 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Hahah! Thank you so much, Ashley! You made my day. 🙂

      Reply
  • What I’m Into October 2015 | christinaemoss
    October 30, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    […] does take considerably longer to bake than the recipe calls for, but is amazing). I also tried this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving, and I think it may be my new go-to. As usual, you can find all my favourite […]

    Reply
  • mitch
    November 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I do not have access to star anise or cardomom pods. What can I spices can I use to substitute these and how much should I use? Thanks so much! This looks delicious and I’m making the apple cider cupcakes this week!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 26, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Hi Mitch! There really is no substitute. Sorry! But! It will still be delicious without them. If you can find ground cardamom you could add 1/4 teaspoon, taste and adjust. You could also add cloves if you like that flavor. Good luck! And have fun with the cupcakes! They were some of my all time favorites! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • natalie
    December 5, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Question- i’m planning on making a large batch of this so i can jar it and give it out as Christmas treats to family and friends, how long will it last in a glass jar if kept cold???

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 5, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Natalie! That will be a lovely gift! Technically speaking I should tell you 7-10 days if kept in the refrigerator (unless you can it). I can tell you that my grandmother, mother and I keep cranberry sauce for months open in the refrigerator. After a few weeks the liquid will start to settle at the top but you just stir it back in.

      Reply
      • Natalie
        December 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        Perfect!! I’m going to seal the jars really tight and then give them out in a week from now so I think they’ll be fine until they get opened! Thanks so much

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          December 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

          No problem, Natalie! Happy Holidays!

          Reply
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