A punnet of these was a complete impulse buy yesterday. I’d never seen them sold fresh here in France before, and a punnet was not too expensive, so I took the plunge.
Cranberries could be considered a bit of a superfood. As well as containing vitamin C, manganese and polyphenols, they have also been rumoured to offer a host of health benefits, including being anti-cancer, inhibiting the formation of plaque and kidney stones, and may even prevent and cure urinary tract infections. They are luckily very tasty, too, although they do need to be sweetened as they are naturally tart.
So what are some of my fave ways to consume cranberries? Well…
1. Cranberry and apple crumble. We made this today, flavouring it with orange, star anise and vanilla. Serving with custard is advisable to cut through the sourness of the cranberries.
2. Cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is never 100% cranberry – they are far too sour for that. However, when mixed with water and other fruit juices they make an excellently refreshing drink.
3. Lamb, port and cranberry hotpot. Get a tough cut of meat, throw it into a slow cooker while you’re at work, and what do you get? DELICIOUSNESS. This’ll be one way in which we’ll be using up our cranberry punnet this week (Wednesday night’s dinner).
4. Cranberry and brie bruschetta. Another savoury option here, joining the ranks of pork and apple sausages and Hawaiian pizza in the harmony between main course and dessert. We’ll be using a Waitrose recipe that combines the cranberries not just with brie but also rosemary focaccia, thyme, and balsamic vinegar.
5. Christmas pudding. But of course! Even though Stir-up Sunday is technically not for another three weeks or so, we just couldn’t wait any longer (particularly since we’ll be having our first ‘Christmas dinner’ early, on December 14th or 15th): we caved, and made our Christmas pudding today. According to Lesley Waters’ recipe, we were invited to be free and easy with the fruit and nuts and to throw in pretty much whatever we liked. We eventually plumped for a combination of currants, sultanas, prunes, apricots, mixed peel and (at Lesley’s suggestion) – you guessed it – CRANBERRIES. Steaming the pudding for four hours today has made the whole kitchen smell thoroughly festive, and naturally we are looking forward to feeding the pudding with alcohol (responsibly!) in the run-up to December 14th before ceremoniously flaming it. DELISH.
Got any favourite cranberry recipes of your own? Feel free to share them here 🙂