EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published on Jan. 5, 2010, but we think it could use a little more exposure. We hope it serves you well this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!
This fall we purchased a 5-pound bag of fresh cranberries at the farmers market. What were we thinking? It had been nearly a year since Thanksgiving last. We were thinking there couldn’t possibly be enough cranberry sauce in the universe to meet our appetite.
Two months and a half dozen festive meals later, we are more than satiated with the stuff. What to do, then, with all those lovely cranberries?
All kinds of things, it turns out. Here are five recipes we like, from puckery to piquant and breakfast to dessert.
1. Cranberry Curd
This creamy, sweet spread is fantastic on a scone or a crumpet — or simply by the spoonful. It is adapted from a lemon curd recipe in the September 2009 issue of Everyday Food.
1 c sugar
⅔ c lemon juice
8 large egg yolks
¼ tsp salt
10 tbsp butter (1¼ sticks)
1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
1. Pulse cranberries in food processor until they are in very small pieces. Place a fine mesh sieve over a glass bowl and set aside for straining later.
2. In a medium saucepan (off heat), mix together sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cranberries.
3. Add butter and place pan over medium high heat and cook (do not allow mixture to boil!), whisking constantly, until the butter has melted, the mixture is thick, and small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.
4. Remove pan from heat and continue to whisk. Pour the curd through the sieve into the glass bowl and continue to whisk until all that remain are the chunks of cranberry.
5. Cover closely (with a lid or plastic wrap) and put in refrigerator to cool for at least 2-4 hours. Cranberry curd will keep for up to 2 weeks.
2. Cranberry Chutney
Adapted from an old Gourmet Magazine recipe, this chutney has a good, solid kick. It pairs nicely with stinky cheese, sausages, and flavorful meat, such as venison.
1½ tbsp canola oil
12 oz cranberries
⅔ c sugar
¼ c cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp (heaping) minced ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and cook the shallots until they are soft.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally until the cranberries pop, about 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Serve at room temperature.
3. Cranberry Vodka
There’s still time to add this cranberry-infused vodka, published on Heavy Table earlier in the season, to your winter entertaining menu. A bright red balance of sweet and tart, it’s just the thing to brighten the depths of January.
4. Wild Rice with Cranberries
This recipe is adapted Cooking with Wild Berries & Fruits by Teresa Marrone. It does not include any sugar and, therefore, features the cranberry at its most tart.
3 tbsp of butter
Half an onion, diced
½ c slivered almonds
¼ c dried apricot
1 c cranberries
1½ c hand-harvested, hand-finished wild rice
1 qt low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small skillet, melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add nuts and cook for 5 minutes more.
3. Stir in apricots and cranberries and set aside.
4. Rinse wild rice and combine with chicken broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cranberry mix and continue to cook until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes more. If the rice becomes too dry, add water.
6. When the rice is done, turn off the heat. Add two tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste, and cover the pot for 5 minutes.
7. Fluff the rice and serve hot.
5. Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Five or so years ago, Martha Stewart published a recipe for cranberry upside down cake, which has remained a favorite of ours, reappearing each year. It features cornmeal and almond paste — a texturally pleasing combo — and, unlike much of what she published during her pre-Big House period, it is not the least bit precious.