In mid-October, I spotted a recipe in the Globe for cranberry applesauce, and I thought it would be great for Thanksgiving. Then, when Andy's surgery was scheduled, I realized that I would have to delegate more than usual, so I asked my sister to make it. It had a magnificent color and wonderful flavor—we all gobbled it up. We served it cold, as a refreshing counterpoint to all that heavy turkey, stuffing, and gravy.
My sister used a wooden spoon, so it came out nice and chunky; if you prefer a smooth texture, then use a food mill (in which case there's no need to peel the apples ahead of time, and the color will be even more vibrant). The recipe headnote suggests using a combination of apple varieties for a "complex and well-rounded flavor." So, here's the recipe; I know I will be making it myself soon:
4½ pounds red apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1½-inch chunks
¼ cup dark brown sugar (or more, to taste)
¼ tsp salt
1¼ cups cranberries
¾ cup water
Toss all ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples and cranberries break down, about 20 minutes. With a wooden spoon, crush apple chunks and cranberries against the side of the pot (or process the mixture through a food mill). Taste and adjust the seasoning and texture with brown sugar or water, if necessary. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. (Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)