Recipes: Apples and Cranberries


Cary, NC — This is the second in our series of Thanksgiving 2014 Recipes. Today’s installment focuses on recipes you can make with help from the kids.

3 Days of Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanks to The Matthews House of Cary, who shared their recipes with us, you can try something new this year.  The ingredients for today’s recipes are items you may already have on hand, and the preparation is simple and straight forward.

If you have school-aged children, you can keep them busy helping in the kitchen peeling apples, stirring a pot, and mixing ingredients together. They will be proud they had a hand in helping put the feast together.

Simple Spiced Cranberry Sauce

I generally make the simplest cranberry sauce recipe there is. You know, the one printed on the bag of cranberries. My family prefers whole berry sauce, and while it’s better than the stuff that comes out of a can, our standard lacks imagination.

I plan to try this recipe, which uses maple syrup in place of all the sugar and adds the kick of a fresh orange. The prep time is the same as my current recipe, and I have all the ingredients in my pantry already. It may become a new family staple at our holiday table.


  • 4 cups raw cranberries
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • Juice from one orange
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Rinse and clean berries well. Transfer to a large saucepan.
  2. Add the syrup, orange juice, spices, and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  3. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and boil gently until the berries pop, about 10 minutes

Chill for 1 hour before serving

Apple Crisp

Are you nervous about your pie making skills? Haven’t rolled out a crust since last year’s disastrous pumpkin pie? Why not try a crisp that is so simple that the kids can help assemble it? You can make it the night before. Add a dollop of vanilla ice cream when you serve it, and everyone will be happy.


  • 3 medium apples
  • 3/4 t nutmeg
  • 3/4 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 c sugar


  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c butter


  1. Place the apples in a greased casserole dish.
  2. Mix the sugar and spices.
  3. Sprinkle over the apples.
  4. Mix the topping. Crumble over apples.
  5. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.
  6. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.


The Thanksgiving Food Column was sponsored in part by the Matthews House of Cary. View their complete Thanksgiving menu. Photo by Matthew Mendoza.