What Can You Do With Cranberries?

Cranberries tend to be harvested from September to mid-November, making them readily available for the holiday season. While any holiday dinner will likely have cranberry sauce on the table, that’s far from the only option when it comes to preparing a dish with these tart berries. If you’re a culinary academy student, you’re probably interested in options that’ll help you spruce up any old dish, and cranberries are the perfect way to do that. Here are some interesting ideas to incorporate these seasonal berries into your holiday feast:

Make a cranberry jam for brunch.Make a cranberry jam for brunch.

Make a jam
Rather than making a cranberry sauce, try jam instead, to be served at Christmas breakfast alongside scones or freshly baked bread and biscuits. Serious Eats says that while this fruit is typically paired with citrus like oranges, stone fruits like peach, apricot or even nectarines also pair very well with cranberries in jam. Add some cinnamon and clove for a seasonal twist. When stored in the refrigerator, it’ll have a long shelf life, so you won’t have to feel guilty about having to throw food away after the holidays. If you make a large batch, you can even give jars as gifts!

Use them in cocktails
When we think about cocktail garnishes, defaults like cherries, lemon twists and olives come to mind. However, when you’re serving drinks during the holidays, there’s no reason not to add a little bit of festivity to the bar cart! There are a few options. Try infusing a bottle of vodka with the berries, make a punch, or just leave a bowl of cranberries near the bar so your guests can garnish their own drinks. Cranberries taste great in sparkling wine too, so you can also use them at your New Year’s Eve party!

Bake them in dessert
Cranberries are rarely used in desserts, which is a shame! These tart berries are a great option for cutting the sweetness of a traditionally sweet pie, like cherry or apple. They’re also a good alternative for dried fruits like raisins in cookies. If you’ll have a platter of desserts for your party, you should include at least one seasonal dish with cranberries. You can even dry the berries in the oven and put them in a sweet bowl of popcorn and chocolate for guests to snack on throughout the party.

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