The pectin in the apple gels the sauce, allowing it to be sliced or cut into small bars. The apple also adds sweetness so there is not as much sugar here as in traditional cranberry sauce recipes. Peeling the apple is optional, but choose a crisp apple if you choose not to–the peel is not as rubbery as that on older, softening apples.
3 c fresh cranberries (reserve a few for garnish, if you like)
1 large (Fuji) apple, (peeled) and finely chopped
1/2 – 1 c sugar
3/4 c water
rosemary sprigs, or sage leaves, for garnish, optional
1. Line a loaf pan or an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment and brush with vegetable oil. (You could also spray it with nonstick cooking spray.)
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with the apple, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the cranberries are completely broken down and the sauce is very thick, about 15 minutes. Taste about halfway through for sweetness, adding extra sugar if you think it needs more. Scrape the cranberry sauce into the prepared pan and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
3. If you made this in a loaf pan, invert the jelly onto a serving plate and remove the parchment. If you used the 8-inch square baking dish, cut into squares with a serrated knife and place on a serving plate. Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs or sage leaves, if you like. Slice loaf with a serrated knife, too.