Saturday, December 14, 2013
Cranberry Maple Syrup & Cran-Maple Compote (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-free)
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.
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You might also like:
Salted Pepita Chocolate Bark (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free)
Salted Maple Caramel Peach Bars (Paleo, Gluten-free)
Homemade Almond Butter (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free)