Flavor of the Holidays: How to Use Cranberries to Brighten Up Your Festive Dishes
Words Emily Connelly
Forget flavor of the week — cranberries are the flavor of the holidays! Our infatuation with the bright berry begins right before Thanksgiving, when the question on everyone’s lips is “homemade or canned?” No matter your answer to this question, we stand by the sentiment that nothing says “’tis the season” quite like cranberries – here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate them into sides, desserts and drinks (so that all of your dishes get dressed up for the holidays)!
This one is a classic for a reason – the tartness of cranberries complements many rich foods that are traditional this time of year (roasts! Turkeys injected with butter! Mashed potatoes… and more butter).
To make ours, we add a 12 oz bag of cranberries to a saucepan along with one cup of sugar and one cup of water, and bring it all to a boil, stirring occasionally until all of the cranberries have popped. (For a healthier option, you can use fresh-squeezed orange juice instead of half of the sugar!) Then, let it simmer and thicken. Serve hot or cold, depending on preference. (Both).
Pumpkin and apple are classics during the winter months, but why not shake things up a bit? Cranberry pie was always a holiday staple in my house – my mom uses this recipe from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook to add the perfect combination of tart and sweet to our dessert table.
This festive punch is sure to be a hit at your holiday parties. Simply combine a bottle of champagne, three cups of cranberry juice, and ½ cup of your favorite liqueur (we love it with cointreau or orange liqueur!), and garnish with orange slices and whole raw cranberries. Cheers!
These bright berries also make beautiful garnishes — place them in your holiday garland for a lovely addition to your centerpieces or try adding cranberries and rosemary to your ice cubes! (Yes, you read that right — it’s an easy way to add some holiday flair to your beverages.)
What’s your favorite way to use cranberries?