A killer make ahead dish loaded with juicy apples, tart cranberries, and orange zest. Like cranberry sauce on steroids. Our Thanksgiving table would not be complete without this sweet-tart bowl of deliciousness.
My mother-in-law made this dish every year as part of her Thanksgiving repertoire. When she got older and started coming to our house for Thanksgiving, I always made sure to have this on the table.
Now, when I say this was her recipe, I don’t mean I didn’t tweak it here and there. Because I did. I can’t help it. It’s what I do. But she gave it her seal of approval, which was important.
Also important, this needs to be made a day ahead because it takes a looong time to set. Which is perfectly fine with me, one less thing to deal with on Thanksgiving day.
It starts with a base of raspberry jello. You can use cranberry jello if you can find it, it’s sometimes available seasonally. I may make the switch someday but there could be great wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those old lady jello salads with carrots or marshmallows or other assorted weirdness cuz , ew. This is sweet and tart with a hint of orange.
Stir the jello and sugar together in a large bowl (a 2.5 quart round casserole works great) with the boiling water for a couple of minutes until it’s good and dissolved. It seems like a lot of sugar but you need that much to offset the tartness of the cranberries. Without it this apple cranberry sauce will be super sour.
The cranberries and apples come next. I pulse them each in my food processor several times, just enough to chop them up fine but not turn them into mush. If you don’t have a food processor you can just chop them by hand.
Note: those little bits in the apples aren’t peel, they’re leftover bits of cranberries. No need to clean the food processor between steps. Just so you know.
Next, zest a couple of oranges. And, yes, you’re going to have a couple of naked oranges. Just put them in a zip-lock until you’re ready to eat them.
Stir it all up and let it chill in the fridge. I usually make it a day or two ahead because I have plenty to do the day of Thanksgiving and anything I can do ahead of time is awesome.
BTW, hubby loves this for breakfast!