cranberry dessert
January 25, 2007 3:27 PM   Subscribe

What's the best dessert featuring cranberries you've ever had?
posted by gregoryc to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oops. Just realized this is probably chatfilter material. I will add that I'm participating in and Iron-chef-esque dinner party on Sunday and have to come up w/ a great cranberry dessert by then. Is this still chatfilter? I guess I'm about to find out.
posted by gregoryc at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2007

I don't know if it counts as dessert, but a friend made sugared cranberries for a potluck Christmas dinner, and everyone went insane over them.
posted by rtha at 3:39 PM on January 25, 2007

Response by poster: Ok, I've done my chatfilter research and changed my mind: this is not chatfilter. (Unless you consider the poster chatting with himself about whether his post is chatfilter chatfilter.)

On to the cranberry desserts!
posted by gregoryc at 3:40 PM on January 25, 2007

My favorite: Cranberry-Blueberry Crisp.

Use your favorite Crisp recipe (you know -- the strudelly topping with brown sugar, butter, rolled oats) and put that on top an equal mix of blueberries and cranberries. Bake as directed. The berries can go right from the freezer to the oven.

I buy many quarts of blueberries during the season for the freezer, and likewise with cranberries. Then, for any potluck, special occasion, or general craving, a crisp can be had with no fuss.
posted by ewagoner at 3:44 PM on January 25, 2007

I love cranberries in bread pudding...the tartness cuts the richness nicely.
posted by desuetude at 3:54 PM on January 25, 2007

I had fresh cranberries mixed in with panna cotta at a restaurant and it was sensational.
posted by gaspode at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2007

Cranberry Muffins, or Cranberry Bread...not officially dessert, but yummy !
posted by lobstah at 4:20 PM on January 25, 2007

Are dried cranberries ok? I seem to remember that I made this apple pie with dried cranberries once and liked it. At least, I made an apple pie with dried cranberries, and that one looks about right.
posted by craichead at 4:47 PM on January 25, 2007

I have had a lime sorbet served in a salt-rimmed glass with splash of tequila over it. Very interesting (although better as a drink than a dessert).

Could you make a cranberry sorbet and turn it into a Cosmopolitan? That would rock! (yes, I have a thing about sorbet).
posted by ninazer0 at 4:58 PM on January 25, 2007

I really like cranberry coffeecake. I suspect that cranberry upside-down cake would also be fabulous (plum upside-down cake is great) just substitute the fruit of your choice for pineapple.

/wife of mbrubeck
posted by mbrubeck at 5:18 PM on January 25, 2007

Every year at our neighbor's Thanksgiving dinner, one of the guests brings these amazing chocolate chip cranberry bars. I think they're simply the tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe with cranberries added, baked in thick bar form, but they're absolutely amazing. They assure that I'm at Thanksgiving every year.
posted by PaperDragon at 5:52 PM on January 25, 2007

This Cranberry-Lime tart is outrageous. Epicurious also has a number of other very good cranberry dessert recipes to explore.
posted by garbo at 6:21 PM on January 25, 2007

Plain, not outrageous but delicious - my mom's cranberry apple cake. First make a pretty thick cranberry sauce (crans, lemon peel, cloves, sugar, remove the peels and sugar and three tablespoons of gelatin (i use raspberry, but you can use plain). Cool. Make a batter for basic white cake (can't remember off the top of my head, but like 2 c flour, 2 eggs, a stick of butter partially melted, a tsp of baking powder and some vanilla and sugar - you can find this on line) and spread that batter in a pan. Lay sliced apples mixed with cinnamon and sugar on top and spoon the cranberry sauce on top and bake for an hour at 350. It's tart and sweet - a delicous Eastern European cake! Sorry for not having the recipe quite down, I do it by eye.
posted by WaterSprite at 6:51 PM on January 25, 2007

Cranberry Pie with 2 crusts.

posted by JayRwv at 6:53 PM on January 25, 2007

link for cranberry pie
posted by JayRwv at 6:54 PM on January 25, 2007

Cranberry-pear pie is delicious, and a nice change from apple.
posted by timepiece at 6:55 PM on January 25, 2007

I could make about a million suggestions -- I love cranberries! -- but instead lemme just give you the theory:

Cranberries are extremely tart, so the basic principle should be to cut that tartness with something sweet. Essentially you can pull off this pairing in one of two ways:

1. Add enough sugar to the cranberries to mask the tartness. This is the idea behind cranberry sorbet, pie filling, custard, etc.

2. Feature the tartness as a highlighted flavor, but pair it closely with something sweet so you taste the sweet and the tart at once. This idea leads to fresh cranberry tarts (with pastry cream, I'd assume), cranberry puree as a cake filling, or cranberry relish with a fatty fish like salmon or catfish.

Good luck with the competition!
posted by jacobian at 8:18 PM on January 25, 2007

oops, missed that it must be a dessert, so nix the fish. still, try it sometime -- heavenly.
posted by jacobian at 8:19 PM on January 25, 2007

I make a cranberry-orange cheesecake that, I'm told, is to die for.

I start with the recipe here and modify as follows:

Make fresh cranberry sauce (do NOT used canned) using only half the necessary sugar.
Add 1tsp orange extract to the cheesecake mix (I had a batch go all wrong when I tried fresh grated orange peel).

Instead of a big pie plate, get the itty bitty mini ones so that people can have their very own mini-cheesecake.

You can place the mixture in the mini plates one of 2 ways:

mix the cranberry sauce and cheesecake mix completely together (stirring gently to avoid over shmushing the cranberries)


Fill have the plate with a dollop of cranberry sauce, then cover with cheesecake

bake according to the recipe directions above
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:28 PM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

(if you do it right, you get really pretty cranberry swirls through the cheese)
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:29 PM on January 25, 2007

Cranberry-pear-soft cheese is an oddly good combination if you can get good sweet pears. The cranberry zing just sort of cuts right through the sweetness and creaminess. Maybe begin from there if you want something a little surprising?

Cranberries and walnuts also play well together. Again, they balance each other out — one's dark and rich, one's bright and zippy. They're a more common combination, though — although normally you see 'em together in salads and not desserts.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:45 PM on January 25, 2007

Don't know of this has been mentioned yet but I went to a bookstore yesterday and had Cranberry and Orange scones which nearly caused a foodgasm.

Usually I don't care about food but after biting into one of those, it was like crack. Here's a recipe and another.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:00 PM on January 25, 2007

Seconding ewagoner 's cranberry-blueberry crisp suggestion. I add cinnamon, sometimes apples, and a little bit of sugar if I think the mixture is too tart on its own. It really is dead easy to put together, and ridiculously healthy, too, as it's packed with phytochemicals.
posted by maudlin at 10:31 PM on January 25, 2007

I had a cheesecake topped with Cranberries and Walnuts. It was amazing. Far better than cherry cheesecake.
posted by nadawi at 11:01 PM on January 25, 2007

Best answer: Well, thank you everybody for your responses, but unfortunatly there's been a change of plans. Apparently cranberries are difficult to find around here this time of year, so we redrew. I now have to come up with a TOMATO dessert! Ahhh! I'll post a new question, so if you know of a good one, please let me know!! I will be making some of these cranberry desserts sometime though, so your effort was not in vain.
posted by gregoryc at 3:52 AM on January 26, 2007

Best answer: Ok, well, I didn't know about the two-week rule, so please, post your fantabulous TOMATO DESSERT RECIPES here. Thanks.
posted by gregoryc at 3:55 AM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Where are you getting good tomatoes this time of year? I would imagine most tomato recipes taste better with the less-cardboardy tomatoes of summer.

That said, this looks interesting, although I haven't tried it yet.
posted by mikepop at 6:46 AM on January 26, 2007

Greg - I'd be happy to repost the question for you. Knock up some text and post it to [underscore character]12rounds[at character]yahoo[dot]com
posted by Leon at 8:57 AM on January 26, 2007

But you can (usually) find cranberries in the frozen foods section, can't you? And seconding the notion that tomatoes in January/February are usually pretty yucky.

That said, Trader Joe's carries little plastic boxes of some sort of grape tomato - they're really pretty good, quite sweet, and I think are available year-round.
posted by rtha at 1:15 PM on January 26, 2007

Response by poster: Hey thanks, Leon. I'll send you something now.
posted by gregoryc at 1:59 PM on January 26, 2007

Cranberries are hard to find except in Nov/Dec, because most people associate them with the holidays. But higher-end grocery stores like Whole Foods usually have them year round.

How anyone could decide that winter is a good time to do tomato recipes instead of cranberry recipes is beyond me. Cranberries are actually harvested in the fall, and freeze beautifully. Tomatoes are good for +/- three weeks in the summer and do not freeze beautifully.
posted by desuetude at 3:07 PM on January 26, 2007

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