juice of a lime
1 cup apple cider
cayenne pepper (really!)
This has become one of my favorite things to make, served warm over vanilla ice cream. Rinse the cranberries, pick out the bad ones, and dump in a 3-quart pot over low heat. Core and chop the apples (very coarsely, into biggish chunks), peel if you want to but it's not necessary. I usually use an assortment of apples and peel the granny smiths but leave the red-skinned ones alone, just because I think the granny smith peels are tougher and not as nice to eat. Sprinkle some lime juice over the apples at first just to keep them from browning. Pour the apple cider in, cover, and leave alone for awhile, still over very low heat. I've also used hard apple cider, water, and apple juice at various times. Oh, and also mango juice. Anything works, really, but I like plain old cider the best.
Stir occasionally so that all the fruit gets simmered in the cider, and start adding your spices to taste. Since I've been using this as a dessert, I've been kind of heavy-handed with the sugar and caramel sauce, but hold back and it could be breakfast instead. I made up a batch of this last week to bring to Nick & Sarah's post-Thanksgiving turkey dinner party, and was scrounging through the cupboard for something else, though I wasn't sure what exactly I was looking for. I found the remnants of a jar of honeyed ginger that I'd brought back from New Zealand last year, and added that. Delicious! So this time I chopped up a few tablespoons of crystallized ginger and added that along with some honey, and it was pretty much just as good.
I made this at Arielle's house a few months ago, sans cranberries, and she very strictly instructed me to not add any cloves, due, I believe, to an unfortunate incident in high school involving too much alcohol and a clove cigarette. I laughed, given that we were cooking in her kitchen, and so presumably, also given her rather strong distaste for cloves, there were none around to be added. She laughed too. And seemed to like the sauce.
One last reason to love this stuff (as if there needed to be another): it smells really, really good, and you can cover it up and cook it pretty much all day long if you want to.