Cranberry-Apple Sauce, Two ways

in Apples, Baby & Toddler Friendly, Christmas, Condiments, Cranberries, Fruit, Thanksgiving

One of my favorite bloggers, Josie of Pink Parsley Catering, blogged a homemade applesauce a little while back that stopped me dead in my tracks. Once I recovered, I headed straight to the kitchen. The Foodie Baby, boy, was she in for a treat!

I temporarily retired last fall, so I had “plenty” (ha!) of time to make our daughter’s baby food. Early on, I’d block out several hours on a weekend to cook and freeze loads of food. Now that she’s older, I don’t have to put quite that much effort into things.

Applesauce is one of her favorites. It’s super, super easy to make – if you don’t count peeling the apples. My veggie peeler didn’t make the move with the rest of us so I have to use a pairing knife. And every time I finish peeling the last apple, I look down in amazement that I still have all my fingers. Truly a miracle.

I’ve been making two variations for The Foodie Baby (and me), both containing cranberries. Both sauces are excellent slathered on a slice of crusty bread with melty brie, so for Thanksgiving, I’m making brie en croute with the Orange Cran-Apple Sauce. Can’t wait!

Vanilla Bean Cranberry-Apple Sauce and Orange Cranberry-Apple Sauce

Two versions of homemade cranberry-apple sauce: Vanilla Bean and Orange. Perfect as a baby food and big people snack.


  • 2 1/2 lbs apples (Jonagold and Honeycrisp are my favorites), cored, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Simply Apple juice (or 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)*


  1. Place all ingredients except sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook covered for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the cranberries have burst.
  2. Add sugar to taste, if necessary
  3. Let cool and store covered in the fridge.
  4. *Use the vanilla bean paste or the scrapings of 1 whole vanilla bean in the apple version, eliminate it in the orange version.


Yields: ~3 cups

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living and Pink Parsley Catering

Estimated time: 1 hour

7 comments… add one
  • I really love the flavor combos here, I bet the cranberries really take this applesauce to the next level. This would be a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table. Thanks for sharing!

  • OMG I love what you’ve done here. I’m pretty much down the the last of my applesauce in the freezer, and I’m totally making this w/cranberries next time!

  • That sauce looks delicious!! I love apple baked/cooked into anything 🙂

  • Ohh, I need to send this to my sis!

  • Mara

    I know I’m late to the party on this, but, honey, if you love homemade applesauce you need to get yourself a Foley food mill! It takes all the work out of it! No peeling, de-seeding, nothing!

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