Prepare to be stunned. Sugared Cranberries are a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry. It's a big payoff from just two ingredients and a few minutes of time. So festive!
Can you imagine eating a raw cranberry? I sure couldn't. But once they're sugared? Wow. What a rush of sweet and sour, wet and dry.
And Sugared Cranberries are so pretty! I made these to embellish a plain-jane English-style gingerbread cake that sadly turned out to be more "ginger cake" than "gingerbread" (which means I'm stilllllllll lookin' for "my" recipe, thank you very much) but time got away, that didn't happen.
But I'm happy to have them on hand, a big payoff for little effort. They won't go to waste, this holiday season.
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes about 2-1/2 cups
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 2 cups fresh (not frozen) cranberries
- 1/2 cup Simple Syrup
- Additional sugar
SIMPLE SYRUP In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, let simmer for a minute until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Makes about 1-1/3 cups.
SOAK CRANBERRIES In a bowl with room for stirring (I use a four-cup glass measuring cup), combine cranberries and 1/2 cup simple syrup. Refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours, stirring occasionally. Transfer the cranberries/simple syrup to a fine-meshed sieve, drain off and discard the simple syrup.
SUGAR THE CRANBERRIES Pile some sugar in a small shallow bowl, add more as needed. Roll the sticky cranberries in the sugar to coat, it's easiest with your fingers, one by one. Arrange the berries on a rimmed baking sheet, they shouldn't touch. Let dry at room temperature for a few hours, they'll crisp right up.
SAVOR Once dry, store the Sugared Cranberries in the fridge in an airtight glass container, if only because they're quite pretty. Use them up within a few days.
ALANNA's TIPS Simple syrup is handy to have on hand for impromptu cocktails, adding a touch of sugar to tomato sauce, etc. Since it keeps in the fridge for weeks, I always make enough to fill a squeeze bottle, extra easy to use! I half hoped that the sugar syrup would take on a little cranberry sourness or color: no such luck. Guess that means my next trick is a cranberry simple syrup! Now that my cranberries are all tucked away, I'm seeing that others first sprinkle their berries with sugar, then roll them in sugar – and swear by those two thin layers. Next time!
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