Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon

Looking for a cranberry sauce recipe to liven up your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Not only does this homemade recipe for apple-orange  cranberry sauce with bourbon call for apples and oranges. In addition, there is a splash of brown sugar bourbon, which adds an undeniable kick. And some other secret ingredients! And it can be served in a serving dish or turned into a cranberry vodka spiked gelatin salad.

bourbon-cranberry-sauce-with orange
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.

This recipe for apple-orange cranberry sauce with bourbon has been adapted from my Great Aunt Pearl from Kansas. She lived to be 98 and passed away before Thanksgiving a number of years ago.

She had lived on her own and cooked for herself until she was 97. But she wasn’t very happy with the food that was served at the nursing facility she had been moved into a short while earlier.

“They simply don’t know how to cook,” she lamented.

Apparently, she passed away just before Thanksgiving. And I can’t help but think that she simply couldn’t bear the thought of eating a second rate turkey dinner – with that disgusting cranberry sauce that comes out of a can.

ingredients-for-best-cranberries-sauce-recipe
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.

This recipe for cranberry sauce incorporates both apples and oranges. As for the apples, tart apples such as Granny Smith, pippin, or McIntosh work best.

In addition, it calls for Bourbon. And brown sugar bourbon works best if you can find it. 

This recipe can be served in a serving dish with the option of being converted into a gelatin salad. If you decide to make a gelatin salad, it also calls for cranberry vodka.

slicing-oranges-for-cranberry-sauce-with-oranges
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.
dry-ingredients-for-cranberry-sauce-with-apples
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.
pouring-bourbon-into-cranberry-sauce
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.
pouring-cranberries-into-cranberries-sauce-with-apples
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.
mixing-ingredients-on-the-stove
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.
cranberry-sauce-ready-for-the-oveh
Photo Credit: Erik Taylor.

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon

Looking for a cranberry sauce recipe to liven up your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Not only does this homemade cranberry sauce recipe call for apples and oranges. In addition, there is a splash of brown sugar bourbon, which adds an undeniable kick. It can be served in a serving dish or turned into a cranberry vodka spiked gelatin salad.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas cranberry sauce, cranberrieas sauce, cranberry gelatin salad, cranberry sauce recipe, cranberry sauce with bourbon, orange-and-apple cranberry sauce, recipe for cranberry sauce, thanksgiving cranberry sauce
Servings;8
Calories: 1278kcal
Author: Erik Taylor

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tart apples granny smith, pippin, or McIntosh
  • 4 cup fresh cranberries (save one cup for later)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1-1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup BBS Brown Sugar Bourbon

To Make a Gelatin Salad {optional}

  • 1 package Raspberry Jell-O
  • Pure cranberry juice (Instead of boiling water)
  • Cranberry Vodka (instead of cold water, stored in the freezer)

Instructions

  • Quarter the oranges lengthwise and remove the fruit
  • Cut the rind into small 1/4" diced pieces
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the orange rind and the water and bring to a boil
  • Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside
  • Core and quarter the apple
  • dice into 1/2-inch pieces and place into 9×13 inch baking dish, with three cups of the cranberries saving once cup for later. (If you have a copper jam pot this works better)
  • Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones
  • Add the orange rind into 9×13 baking dish
  • In a bowl mix orange juice, bourbon, sugars, cinnamon, ginger and cloves; the add to baking dish
  • Cover with foil (NOTE: if you are using a copper jam pot, cover with parchment and secure with twine. As foil and copper interact in a highly undesirable manner.)
  • Place into 300º Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) oven for one hour
  • Remove mixture from baking dish and place into a sauce-pot. (If using a copper jam pot, simply remove the parchment and place directly onto the stove) Bring to a boil and add remaining cup of cranberries
  • Stir constantly until sauce begins to thicken, then reduce heat to medium
  • Stirring regularly, let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so to reduce mixture to a thick sauce. Sauce should be 1/3 of original volume. Let cool completely on stove and then transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate. This should keep for several weeks

To Make a Gelatin Salad (optional)

  • Make Jell-O according to package instructions, substituting cranberry juice for the boiling water and cold vodka for the cold water
  • Pour Jell-O into a mold which has been prepared with non-stick spray
  • Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes
  • When Jell-O is partially set, gently fold in the cranberry sauce with a spoon. Continue to refrigerate until fully set
  • To release, set mold in warm water for a few minutes, invert onto your plate, and gently shake until it releases

Canning Instructions

  • If you wish to can your sauce, put it into sterilized jars and submerge under 1" of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. The sauce can be stored in a cool dry place for up to eighteen months

Nutrition

Calories: 1278kcal | Carbohydrates: 339g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 1327mg | Fiber: 47g | Sugar: 270g | Vitamin A: 1132IU | Vitamin C: 200mg | Calcium: 740mg | Iron: 6mg
Erik Taylor
Erik Taylor

Erik Taylor was heavily influenced by his two doting Aries grandmothers and an Aries Great Aunt, who enjoyed cooking holiday meals for their large families.

These strong willed women passed on many Plains States Depression Era traditions, which have formed the foundation of which Erik now shares in his time-honed recipes.

Erik was born in Denver, Colorado. He has also lived in California and Hawaii. And he now the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, Erik has a passion for photography and a love for the history of the design of the Disney theme parks.

4 Replies to “Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon”

  1. This looks like an excellent recipe!! What would you use instead of Bourbon to make it non-alcoholic? More orange juice?

    1. You can always substitute cranberry juice if you wanted Linda. Please remember though, the alcohol will be evaporating out during cooking process all you will are left with is the flavors from the bourbon. So this sauce is already non-alcoholic.

      *unless of course you add more bourbon after the sauce has cooled.

    2. Erik Taylor responds: The alcohol cooks out and leaves you with the flavors of the bourbon much in the same way vanilla works. Yet one could always substitute cranberry juice. Most commercial cranberry juices dilute their products with apple juice.

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