Cranberries and apples are a great flavor combination. In the past, I’ve made a cake and stuffing with this dynamic duo that both turned out wonderfully. I usually make a large pot of hot apple cider for Thanksgiving, but I thought this year it would be fun to add fresh cranberries to the drink.
The tartness of the cranberries is a nice foil to the apple cider spices. And the color is a glorious crimson, which is perfect for the season. I couldn’t think of a better cure for the absolutely freezing weather we’ve been having here (which in the Bay Area means a 65°F daytime temperature). Don’t laugh; last night it got down to 40°F!
1. Info for Cranberry Apple Cider
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 8
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Cranberry Apple Cider
- 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, (3 cups)
- 2 quarts apple juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 10 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 Red Delicious apples
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar), as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Fresh cranberry juice: Wash the cranberries. Pick out and discard any bad ones (discolored, shriveled or bruised). In a saucepan, place the cranberries and a stick of cinnamon. Add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until the cranberries have burst. Stir frequently to prevent the cranberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool a little and blend the mixture. Filter through a double-layered cheesecloth lined strainer and gather as much juice as possible. Discard the fruit pulp. Add the superfine sugar and cherry extract (if used) to the juice. Apple cider: It’s not necessary to peel or core the apples. Quarter them and stud the pieces with cloves. Place them in a large pot. Add brown sugar, the other cinnamon stick, the apple juice and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until fragrant. Add the lemon juice. Filter the apple cider through a fine mesh sieve or fine muslin cloth.
- Assembly time: Add the cranberry juice to the apple cider. Warm the cranberry apple cider when you’re ready to serve. Adjust the sweetness if necessary.
- Ladle the drink into mugs. Decorate with fresh cranberries, apple slices or cinnamon sticks.