5 Non-Sauce Uses for Cranberries

November 12, 2014

This article is brought to you by our friends at Electrolux as part of an ongoing series focusing on seasonal ingredients. This month we're talking cranberries.

Today: Sauce isn't the only answer. 

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There’s likely a huge bag of fresh cranberries in your fridge -- some will be used for sauce of course, but what about the rest of them? They have an incredibly long shelf life, but that doesn't mean they should languish in your fridge for the next few months, or in your freezer until next Thanksgiving.

If you feel like you’ve exhausted the possibilities of seasonal fruits like pears or apples -- although we’re sure we can think of one or two things you haven’t tried yet -- cranberries offer a great alternative. You often see them in classic desserts like pie, but they can also be used in a variety of savory dishes and festive drinks.

So don't despair -- these little guys have so much more to offer. Here are a few of our favorite uses for cranberries, with not a sauce in sight:

Cranberry Jelly-Filled Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)

1. Doughnuts. Stale crullers will no longer make the grade once you try these reimagined jelly doughnuts. Turn your favorite raised dough into doughnut holes, then fill them with a jelly made from fresh cranberries, orange zest, and fresh ginger -- they make a killer holiday breakfast or a good project for a weekend afternoon.   

2. Candied. These Orange Blossom Candied Cranberries are the perfect light dessert to wrap up a dinner party. Try switching out the orange blossom water for other ingredients like rosewater or a simple syrup infused with ginger, cinnamon, or cloves.   

More: Get serious about making candy at home with this kit.    

3. Stuffing. Fresh and dried cranberries both make a welcome addition to any stuffing (or to stuffing's custardy cousin, bread pudding.) This recipe calls for dried cranberries, but fresh ones add a nice, bright tartness that plays well against the other, richer flavors.  

4. Pound Cake. Christened the Loaded with Good Stuff Loaf, this pound cake lives up to its name. It's pleasantly sweet but not overbearing and it's complemented nicely by sharp bursts of fresh cranberries. Loaf cakes in general -- like this yogurt bread and this coconut pound cake -- make wonderful vehicles for cranberries. 

5. Drinks. For a special occasion, freeze fresh cranberries into an ice ring and float it in a bowl of punch. You can also warm your hands (and hearts) up with a mug of spiked apple cider and use fresh cranberries as a garnish. Consider using them in some of your other favorite drinks as well -- you can even try muddling them into a smash.

More: This guide will make sure your bar is well-stocked for the holidays.

What's your favorite non-sauce way to use fresh cranberries? Tell us in the comments!

This article was brought to you by Electrolux, who's all about great taste and the appliances to help you make beautiful meals in your own kitchen. Learn more here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Editorial Intern at Food52


Bevi November 13, 2014
NY Times Cranberry Cheddar gougeres:
Count M. November 12, 2014
These pickled cranberries are amazing with cheese and crackers, on sandwiches, or in cocktails.
HalfPint November 12, 2014
I would add Cranberry Cordial to the list of non-sauce uses for cranberries,
AntoniaJames November 12, 2014 Excellent over vanilla ice cream or stirred into Greek yogurt. Also, any mostarda made with fresh cranberries would be perfect on a cheese board. For more info, see my article here on how to make any mostarda. ;o)