It’s official – I’m a middle-aged woman now. I actually LIKE cranberry sauce these days. I remember hating it as a kid (as most children do, I think), and even turning my nose up at it just a few years ago. It was just . . . such an old lady thing to eat, and so sour and weird.
Why was there fruit on my plate with all this savory food? My mother and mother-in-law were the only ones that partook in this side dish, so I would make a small batch just for them, send them home with any leftovers, and be done with it.
But over the last few years, I’ve snuck a small spoonful of the red stuff onto my plate, just in the interest of trying each dish. And you know what? I’ve found myself really enjoying those few bites.
In the years I’ve been making cranberry sauce for the moms, I’ve always spiked it with something – sometimes bourbon, sometimes wine. With Michigan being one of the nation’s leading apple producers, hard cider is plentiful here. So this year, this Hard Cider Cranberry Sauce is on my epic menu. Enjoy!
- 2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh cranberries
- Zest of ½ orange
- 1 cup hard cider
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- In medium saucepan, stir together all ingredients. Heat to simmering over medium heat. Cook 12 to 14 minutes or until cranberries begin to burst, stirring occasionally. Transfer to refrigerator and let cool completely before serving.
Epic Thanksgiving Recipe Schedule:
- Sunday, October 30th: Thanksgiving Recipes Master List
- Monday, October 31st: Apple, Bacon + Fennel Stuffing
- Thursday, November 3rd: Aged Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- Monday, November 7th: Cajun Turkey with Orange-Oregano Gravy
- Monday, November 14th: Sautéed Green Beans with Tomatoes + Crispy Parmesan
- Thursday, November 17th: Hard Cider Cranberry Sauce
- Sunday, November 20th: Cocktail Hour! Roasted Campari Bloody Mary
Other Thanksgiving Ideas:
- Cranberry-Vanilla Gin Spritzer
- Autumn Cheese Board
- Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Crostini with Whipped Feta & Honey
- Roasted Turkey with Bourbon Apricot Glaze
- Maple Bourbon Glaze for Turkey – brush this on at the end for extra flavor.
- Fruit & Nut Brussels Sprout Slaw
- Crockpot Green Bean Casserole – with fresh green beans and no canned soup!
- Corn Casserole with Cheese
- Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing – a secret family recipe!
- Lemon & Maple Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Thanksgiving Rice Recipe – an easy pilaf with cranberries and pears.
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate & Parsley
- Spiced Sweet Potato Rolls with Bourbon Honey Butter
Use Those Leftovers:
- Thanksgiving Leftover Waffles
- Turkey & Gnocchi Arrabiata Soup
- Use up leftover mashed potatoes in a loaded mashed potato bake casserole!
- Cranberry Sauce Muffins – a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce!
- Ham and Potato Soup, if you also made a ham for Thanksgiving and have leftovers
Making one of these recipes? Please let me know by sharing a photo on social media with the hashtag #FLLEpicThanksgiving!
I’m so thankful for each and every person that stops by this blog, whether it’s once in awhile or every day. This little corner of the internet has allowed me to change my life and create a career path for myself that brings me so much joy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.