Bogged down in cranberry sauce
November 26, 2007 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Mom left me bogged down with more than a quart of cranberry leftovers after Thanksgiving. I would relish recipes for exciting things to do with it.

Help me get rid of so much cranberry relish!

Point the first: lots of recipes around AskMefi for cranberry sauce itself, but not for making the finished product into a new ingredient.

Point the second: I could just freeze it and thaw out what I want to over the next year, but that's just so boring. Also, because of how sweet/sour it is, I can only stand to eat a few tablespoons at a time, so it's going to go REALLY slowly if I'm just eating it straight.

The ingredients are whole fresh cranberries, orange zest, a bit of orange juice, and lots of sugar. It ends up a bit syrupy with the whole cranberries suspended in it (kind of like a strawberry topping for cheesecake or something. No, I don't like cheesecake, so I can't use it for that). It's really sour and really sweet, tastes most heavily of cranberries but the orange taste is definitely in the background.

What I'm looking for: cranberry relish pie? Cake? Tarts? Ice cream? Smoothies? Any ideas? I'm relatively handy in the kitchen and I'm open to just about anything, as long as it will taste good with the relish's strong flavor.
posted by olinerd to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Not a recipe but I love the stuff on icecream.
A hunch about muffins proved fruitful (sorry).
posted by mce at 9:19 AM on November 26, 2007

How about mixing it in some apple pie fillings, leaving out as much sugar in the original recipe as you think would be necessary. Once you baked the pies (sounds like you have enough for 4 or 5 pies) you could freeze them for later.

Another idea would be to mix some into muffin batter before baking. The possibilities there are endless. Apples, nuts . . .
posted by pammo at 9:19 AM on November 26, 2007

I would add it to turkey sandwiches, top vanilla ice cream with it or use it as a filling/topping for a dark chocolate cake. Hmmm... the more I think about it, I might even glaze a pork loin with it as well. Pork goes nicely with a variety of fruits.

posted by onhazier at 9:20 AM on November 26, 2007

Smoothies, of course.

Make rugelach or similar cookies and use the cranberry sauce as filling. Also, fold into scones or muffins or pancakes or any kind of quickbread.

Cranberry sauce makes a good spread on sandwiches paired with damn near any meat.
posted by desuetude at 9:22 AM on November 26, 2007

It sounds like it would be great over vanilla ice cream, pancakes, or cheese blintzes. Heck, over pancakes *and* vanilla ice cream.

Also - and this is my imagination talking - I imagine it might taste good in a shortbread-y crust. Or maybe in a regular pie or tartlet crust over a layer of good creamy custard.

You might also try morphing it into other kinds of relish - cranberry jalapeno, for example, or whatever other flavors you might find more fun to try out.

On preview, the rugelach and apple pie ideas sound great.
posted by bassjump at 9:23 AM on November 26, 2007

Best answer: On Iron Chef America last night, Mario Batali made a cranberry curd which I thought was a rather good idea (being a lemon curd fan myself). I believe the curd was then used to make a zuppa inglese (trifle) with cubes of pannetone.

You'd probably want to blend and strain the sauce, or run it through a food mill if you have one. Add sugar until it's rather sweet, then about 5 eggs and 5-10 tablespoons of butter per cup of strained sauce. Beat it over a water bath until it thickens and then let it set in the fridge. It's also good mixed with whipped cream. You can put that on pastries or just eat it with a spoon.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:25 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Cranberry Scones! (perhaps press the sauce to express some of the liquid first?)

Definitely use it as a glaze on meats, including Salmon. Bake some salmon with this and pepper and you're set.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:37 AM on November 26, 2007

It's very good straight up with biscuits and honey.

Or, a berry pie, but add in frozen blueberries and blackberries.

Also-- Blend the relish and add to mayonnaise/sour cream/yogurt for a tart spread (for use on sandwiches? for dipping...?).
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:38 AM on November 26, 2007

Response by poster: Ooh, these are great ideas. Thanks, everyone.
posted by olinerd at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2007

First of all, put that stuff in a blender and get rid of the cranberry chunks. That will take care of a lot of the sourness and make it usable as more than a garnish.
posted by zennie at 9:51 AM on November 26, 2007

Use it as a glaze for a pork roast (or chops, or ribs), or serve with your Christmas duck/goose. If you're a meat-eater, that is. Who celebrates Christmas.
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on November 26, 2007

Best answer: I had the same problem last year, and decided that cranberry chocolate chip bread would be a tasty way to use up the leftover cranberry sauce. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any recipes on the internet that used cranberry SAUCE (as opposed to whole cranberries) in the ingredients. So... into the kitchen I went, with high hopes and only mid-level baking skills.

I've made 5 experimental loaves so far, and I think I'm close to a recipe worth sharing... I'm planning to make another loaf tonight or tomorrow to pin down the final version. I'll post it in the next couple days, if loaf #6 comes out well. (For what it's worth, the sauce recipe I'm starting with sounds just like what you describe.)

I also think pretty much anything with cranberry sauce and chocolate chips would be good, if you can come up with something other than bread.
posted by vytae at 9:55 AM on November 26, 2007

Best answer: A easy but impressive appetizer is to take premade phyllo shells, put a spoonful of cranberry sauce and a chunk of brie in each and top with a half of a walnut. Heat in the oven until lightly browned and the cheese is melted and there you are. Unless you make a ton of them it doesn't use a lot of cranberry sauce but it should help.
posted by TedW at 10:04 AM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

Cranberry sauce is great on sandwiches! No need to blend with anything, imo.
posted by ick at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2007

I enjoyed my leftover sauce mixed with plain yogurt and muesli.
posted by wg at 10:15 AM on November 26, 2007

zip it up in the blender and mix with unsweetened applesauce, plus salt and pepper to taste. use as a glaze for pork chops or a pork roast.

this would also be terrifically yummy on potato pancakes.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:16 AM on November 26, 2007

Response by poster: vytae -- please do keep me posted on Loaf #6.
posted by olinerd at 10:20 AM on November 26, 2007

A cranberry crumble seems like it would work pretty well, too. Just take the topping from any old apple crisp recipe and slap it on top of your cranberry sauce. Drain off the liquid first if you think it's necessary.
posted by clockwork at 10:35 AM on November 26, 2007

I'm going to Nth the sandwich suggestion. Turkey, cranberry sauce, and CREAM CHEESE on SOURDOUGH. GO NOW.
posted by Industrial PhD at 12:38 PM on November 26, 2007

I enjoy left-over cranberry sauce iced cold, accompanied by a simple spoon.
posted by jkaczor at 3:57 PM on November 26, 2007

I love cranberry sauce with strong cheese. Also, smoked bacon, brie and cranberry sauce toasted sandwiches, done in a sandwich press / Foreman grill, on ciabatta.
posted by primer_dimer at 4:31 AM on November 27, 2007

Response by poster: Quick update: I bought brie and filo dough last night to make a neat little appetizer for some friends coming over tomorrow, and a salmon fillet for dinner tonight. I've also been planning on trying vytae-style chocolate cranberry bread.

I then solved the problem by dropping the (unfortunately open) container on my kitchen floor this morning while packing my lunch for work.

Thank you all for your help. Maybe I'll make up another batch so I can still try these recipes. :\
posted by olinerd at 5:50 AM on November 27, 2007

Best answer: Oh no, sorry to hear that your sauce ended up on the floor! What a pain to clean up. In case you end up making more sauce, here's what I've got so far for a bread recipe. This version comes out pretty dense and moist. I think it's tasty, especially as breakfast here at my desk, but I wouldn't serve it to company quite yet. I'll probably keep tweaking the recipe, but I wanted to get something out here for you quickly.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 cup cranberry sauce (recipe below, or use your own)
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer until very well blended. Use the butter wrapper to grease the bottom only of a metal loaf pan. Add egg, vanilla, and cranberry sauce to the eggs and butter, and beat well. You may see small bits of butter in the mixture - mix it until these are very minimal flecks or gone.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, and salt. On a cutting board, chop the chocolate chips a bit (I use a big chef's knife), until the biggest pieces are about half the size of a normal chocolate chip.

Stir the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips into the wet ingredients all at the same time, using a spoon or rubber spatula. It will seem like too much flour at first, but if you keep stirring for 30-60 seconds it will suddenly come together. The mixture will get a bit foamy as the soda interacts with the acid from the cranberries. Don't over-stir, just get it so that most of the flour has been absorbed.

Spread the batter in a loaf pan - it's not thin enough to pour, but it will spread itself out once it's in the oven as long as you get it pretty even in the pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (aside from any melted chocolate, that is), remove from the oven. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, then flip the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.

Cranberry Sauce - makes about 4 cups (I think this recipe came from the food network website, attributed to Emeril Lagasse)
12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
zest of one lemon
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
big pinch of salt
big pinch of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup orange juice

Combine the cranberries, lemon zest, sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then continue to boil for 10 minutes. Dissolve the corn starch in the orange juice, then stir into the boiling cranberries. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until thick. Cool completely, then refrigerate.
posted by vytae at 7:51 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Woot, thanks vytae! I'll give that a shot at some point; I think it would taste good too.
posted by olinerd at 9:02 AM on November 27, 2007

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