Bring a little holiday magic to your table all winter long with these cranberry recipes. They also make delightful and delicious hostess gifts for the festive season. If you’re using frozen cranberries, there is no need to thaw before cooking.
Sweet Potato and Cranberry Quiche
We often think of quiche as a savory dish, but this recipe, adapted from the late ‘70s classic “The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two” by Anna Thomas (Vintage Books, 2014), combines roasted vegetables with lightly sweetened cranberry sauce and a cream cheese-based custard to make a quiche that is a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. It works perfectly as a vegetarian entree or brunch dish and is as good cold as it is warm.
Note: For nutritional calculations, a “pinch” is defined as 1/16 teaspoon.
There are many recipes for cranberry scones made with commercially dried cranberries, but we like the “pop” that comes from the tartness of unsweetened raw fruit.
Cranberries can range in size from 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch long. We liked the scones best when we halved the larger berries with kitchen scissors so the pieces were more evenly sized and distributed more evenly in the dough.
Be careful not to overmix the dough or you will end up with dense, doughy scones.
Cranberry Ginger Syrup
This recipe is adapted from “Preserving by the Pint” by Marisa McClellan (Running Press, 2014). The ruby red color of the syrup makes it a festive holiday gift, and the recipe is easy to scale up.
McClellan describes the syrup as “tart and earthy from the ginger and a tablespoon fancies up a glass of sparkling water beautifully.”
The original recipe discards the cooked cranberries after draining the liquid, but you could repurpose those cranberries by using them in the Chunky Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts and Ginger.
Chunky Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts and Ginger
Make this recipe as directed and you have a sweet, tart sauce with great texture. Cook it a little further and you’ve got refrigerator jam, perfect for gift-giving or for spreading on your morning toast.
To use the drained cranberries from the Cranberry Ginger Syrup, add them to the saucepan with 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries instead of the 4 cups listed.
The variety of apple makes a difference to the texture. Red or Golden Delicious will break down as they cook, while Fuji or Gala will become tender while still holding their shape, adding more texture to the sauce.
Per tablespoon: 15 calories (percent of calories from fat, 1), trace protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams total sugars, trace fiber, trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, trace sodium.
— Adapted from a recipe in “Saving the Season” by Kevin West (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013)
Homemade dried cranberries are simple to make. Unlike the sweet, soft Craisins you buy at the grocery store, homemade dried cranberries are very tart, with a texture that can be almost crunchy depending on how long you bake them.
The cranberries will occupy your oven for several hours, depending on the texture you prefer. Watch the cranberries carefully and remove a few from the oven periodically. Let them cool, then see if you’re happy with the texture.
And don’t skip the first step of covering the cranberries with boiling water. Popping the thick skins helps the cranberries dry out faster.
Use these very tart homemade dried cranberries in trail mix, cookies, oatmeal, as a salad topping, or just eat them right out of the jar.
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