One of my favorite winter ingredients is the cranberry. Of course, you can’t do much with just one, so they are available in nice quantities for adding to recipes. They’re super tart and maybe a bit bitter, but with plenty of sugar and spice, their flavor is great. Whether I’m enjoying them as the main ingredient in a side-dish sauce surrounded by other traditional holiday meal components, or stirred into baked goods for a pop of intense flavor, I love reaching for a cup or two of fresh cranberries all winter long.
While I truly believe that there’s a special gilded resting place in every form of afterlife for the inventor of the Craisin, I’ve limited this list to recipes made with fresh cranberries. Of course, cranberries freeze very well, keeping their shape even after thawing, and keeping basically forever due to their high acidity. You can consider the frozen cranberry a direct substitute for a fresh one.
Here are 10 favorite recipes from The Messy Apron Archives that feature these pretty red jewels:
Cranberry sauce is a must on a holiday table and there are many ways to vary it. This basic Cranberry Sauce can be made with different juices or even wine.
Cranberry Sauce with Persimmons and Spice is another way to go.
Cranberries are great with apples and are really a wonderful addition to Apple and Cranberry Crisp, and they’re delicious in this simple Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Coffee Cake, too.
I like to stir cranberries into muffins like these Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
They’re even great stirred into Cranberry Walnut Cornbread and served with a hot bowl of chili (like this one).
Of course, cranberries can star in desserts, too, like these pucker-y tart Cranberry Bars
Or the sweeter Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust
Puree cranberries in a blender with vinegar, oil, and some other savory ingredients, and you have a fresh and lovely Cranberry Vinaigrette, which is good on a green salad or in a heartier winter salad with grains.
I have plenty of new recipes and ideas I hope to try using perky crimson winter cranberries. I hope you’re inclined to enjoy them as much as I do in the months to come!