Caramelized Cranberry and Apple Sauce: Elevate Your Dishes with Flavorful Shifts

When it comes to elevating dishes, sourcing out new flavors is key. At Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, we understand the importance of adding that extra dimension to your culinary creations. Today, we’re sharing a secret trick that you can use right at home: caramelized cranberry and apple sauce.

Caramelized Cranberry and Apple Sauce: Elevate Your Dishes with Flavorful Shifts
Caramelized Cranberry and Apple Sauce: Elevate Your Dishes with Flavorful Shifts

A Punch of Flavor to Complement the Turkey

Cranberry and apple sauce is a recipe that we always cook a day in advance at Hook’d Up Bar and Grill. It’s a sauce that packs a wonderful punch, designed to enhance and highlight the subtle flavors of turkey. Plus, it’s simple to make and looks fantastic with its deep red, vibrant color on the plate.

The Secret Lies in Organizing and Preparing

At Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, we know that the key to a successful Christmas feast is in the organization and preparation. Anything that can be done in advance should be done, and apple and cranberry sauce is a prime example. So, let’s get started!

Caramelizing the Goodness

To begin, let’s make a really nice caramel base. Add 150 grams of caster sugar to a pan and throw in a couple of star anise for that delightful aniseed flavor. For an extra layer of warm spice, lightly crush four cardamom pods. Wait for the sugar to melt and form a rich caramel.

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Blistering the Cranberries

Once the caramel reaches a dark and luscious color, it’s time to bring in the cranberries. These little berries are known for their tartness and acidity, but when balanced with the sweetness of the caramel and apples, they create a sauce with a lovely dry, sharp note. The trick is to blister the cranberries, which further enhances their flavor.

Awakening the Flavor

Now that the cranberries are breaking down and releasing their aromatic scent, it’s time to core, peel, and thinly slice two apples. This addition helps to awaken the flavor of the turkey. To balance the tartness and acidity of the sauce, add a touch of salt and pepper. The result? A perfectly balanced sweet, sour, and spicy combination that will tantalize your taste buds.

A Touch of Elegance

Now, let’s add a touch of elegance to our caramelized cranberry and apple sauce. Deglaze the pan with a splash of port, scraping off all those lovely sticky caramelized bits and incorporating them into the sauce. For an extra layer of fragrant sweetness, grate the zest of an orange and squeeze in its juice. Cook on low heat for five to ten minutes to thicken.

The Perfect Texture

As the sauce thickens and reaches the ideal consistency, you’ll know it’s ready. At Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, we prefer a thick and luscious sauce, packed full of flavor. However, keep in mind that the sauce will become even thicker once it cools down.

Plan Ahead for a Stress-Free Christmas Day

If you’re looking to get ahead, this sauce can be made three or four days in advance and stored in the fridge. This allows the flavors to develop even further. On Christmas Day, simply bring it up to room temperature and serve. With this make-ahead sauce, you’ll have more time to savor every moment of this special day.

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Q: Can I freeze the caramelized cranberry and apple sauce?
A: Yes, you can freeze the sauce. Just make sure to thaw it thoroughly before serving.

Q: Can I use this sauce for other dishes besides turkey?
A: Absolutely! This sauce pairs well with roasted chicken, pork, and even cheese platters.


At Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, we believe that the little shifts in flavor can make a big difference in the kitchen. By caramelizing cranberries and apples, you can create a sauce that adds a punch of flavor to your dishes. So, give this recipe a try and enjoy the vibrant and delicious caramelized cranberry and apple sauce on your next culinary adventure. To learn more about Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, visit our website.

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