4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 red or Bosc pears, peeled, cored
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins
removed and finely chopped
½ cup crystallized ginger, diced (optional:
1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger)
In a deep 6-quart saucepan, bring cranberries, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks,
cloves and salt to a boil over medium heat.
Stir frequently for about 10 minutes, until
cranberries start to make a popping sound;
this means their hard exterior is breaking
down and softening.
Once cranberries begin to pop, reduce heat
to simmer. Add diced apples, pears, onion
and raisins, and continue stirring frequently
until mixture thickens (another 10 to 15
Remove from heat. Stir in chopped hazelnuts and crystallized ginger. Cool to room
temperature. Remove cinnamon sticks and
cloves before serving at room temperature
Cover tightly and store in
refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Makes 12 to 14 servings.
Courtesy of Holly Brown
The Costco Connection
Look for fresh and dried cranberries (Craisins)
at your local Costco. Fresh cranberries are
sold in 8-cup bags.
SHUTTERSTOCK / SARSMIS
sauce, blended into smoothies or dried and
sweetened. A creative cook can incorporate
cranberries for just the right zing in baked
goods, or pack the perfect punch into jams
and chutneys. Pair these tart beauties with
blueberries, apples, citrus, spice or ginger.
Since cranberries float in water, they can
also add flair and color to dinner party décor.
Cranberries will float to the top of a vase or
shallow bowl, and will last several days to a
week in water. Place tea lights on top of a glass
bowl filled with cool water and raw cranberries for a lovely centerpiece.
Cranberry Spice Chutney (see recipe) is
a seasonal treat that’s as versatile as it is
beautiful. The one-pot recipe is a taste-bud-popping combination of sweet, spicy and tart.
Serve it as a side dish for turkey or salmon,
use it instead of relish or eat it straight from a
spoon. It works well as an appetizer along
with a buttery Brie and French bread. It also
makes a great hostess gift and is the perfect
side dish to bring for a holiday potluck.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with fresh
cranberries outside of your favorite cranberry
sauce recipe. However you choose to add
them to your holiday fare (or décor), your
guests will certainly be delighted. C
Holly Brown is a Seattle-based lifestyle
publisher, blogger and Web TV host of The
BrownLounge.com, which features menus
for entertaining, recipes, food trends and more.
By Holly Brown
ONE OF THE FIRST signs of fall is the sight
of fresh cranberries. Cranberries, like wine
grapes, are harvested September through
November, when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. Native Americans first
discovered the versatile red berry. They used
it as food, fabric dye and a healing agent.
Red produce such as cranberries stimulates the eyes and the appetite. They’re also
good for health. Fresh cranberries are considered a “super fruit” due to their nutrient content and antioxidant power. Raw, dried and
sweetened cranberries are full of fiber. They’re
also high in vitamin C and manganese.
Cranberry tannins, like those found in red
wine, are thought to prevent bacterial attachment to the lining of the urinary tract, which
helps to protect against stomach ulcers and
Ripe cranberries are firm yet buoyant.
The harvesting process includes flooding
the cranberry beds, or bogs, with water,
mechanically removing the fruit from the
bushes and pumping the floating berries out
to conveyors for cleaning and stem removal.
Fresh cranberries are ready to use right out of
the bag. Look for brightly colored, firm
cranberries in the produce section.
Store cranberries in their original packaging for up to two weeks in the refrigerator
or up to one year in the freezer. Rinse and
discard any discolored or soft berries. Frozen
fruit can be used directly from the freezer;
there’s no need to thaw before use. Try the
mouth-puckering punch of cranberries
in fruit pies, muffins, scones, cookies and
Cranberries are hard and bitter if eaten
raw, but are great when turned into juice and
Fresh ideas for a holiday staple