You heard it here: cranberry is the new pumpkin! I am pretty much ready to put these little red super-berries in everything I make from now until Christmas. I love the depth the tart flavor of cranberries adds to desserts, and they’re great in savory dishes, too.
This recipe is so easy–just two ingredients, and you end up with two delicious and giftable condiments. The cranberry maple syrup would be great on pancakes, but I’m also thinking about incorporating it into a festive cocktail. I’ve already used it as the base for another dessert (involving chocolate) that would make a great gift, so stay tuned! If you want to be really prepared, make a batch of this now and just stash it in your fridge. I promise you won’t be sorry you did!
The cranberry compote is also delicious, and less sweet than the syrup for those of you who don’t want to get a toothache. I used some to make a parfait with yogurt and pecans this morning, and it was amazing. (Holiday parfait–it’s a thing! A delicious thing that rhymes!) You could also spread the compote on toast or even serve it with pork chops.
I had so much fun watching and listening to the cranberries pop while I was making this recipe. It’s more subtle than popcorn, but still great. I tried to make a video of it to post on Instagram, but it turns out I don’t know how to do that. Anyway, it made me think of the song “Get It Poppin’” (warning: explicit lyrics) from ten years ago–it’s a completely ridiculous Fat Joe song where he asks the ladies what they’re gon’ do, and they say “I’ma get-get-get it poppin!” over and over again. So, yes … that song has been stuck in my head since I made this. Still totally worth it, though!
Ingredients (makes 1 cup of syrup and 2/3 cup of compote):
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over to remove any stems or squishy berries
1 cup maple syrup
Place the cranberries and maple syrup in a deep saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have split and collapsed and the surrounding syrup is tinted pink, about 15 minutes.
Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then process with an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) to make a coarse puree. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the solids to extract as much syrup as possible. That’s it! You’ve got cranberry maple syrup in the bowl and cran-maple compote in the strainer. Store them in jars in the fridge. They should keep for up to a week.