“Eat a Cranberry Day” is coming up on Wednesday, November 23, and in honor of that, we started a little bit early with cranberries this year. They’re one of my favorite fruits, and you just can’t get them outside of November — unless you settle for canned jelly or cranberry juice, which isn’t the same at all. (There’s a store here called Earth Fare that sets up a little tabletop “bog” with fresh cranberries floating in water, and you scoop them out and put them in bags and buy however much you want. I am exactly the sort of person they hoped to attract with such a display, because I absolutely love going in there and scooping my own cranberries for some reason.)
In addition to bringing from-scratch cranberry jelly and relishes to this year’s family Thanksgiving assembly, we decided to make a couple of retro cranberry recipes. That means you get a bonus double batch this week, two retro recipes for the price of one! (Sorry, you can’t put them on layaway…)
First up, Buzz wanted to try Cranberry Maple Pie. Just because it’s CRANBERRY TIME!
CRANBERRY MAPLE PIE
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup maple syrup
2 cups Eatmor Cranberries
Line an 8-inch pie plate with pastry. Sprinkle flour over bottom crust and add maple syrup. Top with whole raw cranberries. Cover with pastry, press edges together and brush top of crust with milk. Bake in hot oven, 400°F. about 40 minutes. It’s sweet, juicy, good!
This looked fairly promising, until I read through the instructions more closely. “Wait, it’s just cranberries, sitting on maple syrup?” [Skeptical face!]
So, I sprinkled flour.
I poured in maple syrup.
I added cranberries. And then the proportions actually started to make sense; the maple syrup did manage to mostly cover the cranberries, so maybe this would turn out OK after all.
After baking, it looked wonderful. (I had to get out the little turkey-shaped cookie cutter and make some turkey pie crust shapes for the top. HAD to.)
Slices of the pie didn’t really stand up well, which was probably the fault of both a fairly liquid filling, and not very strong crust.
I don’t really know what I expected from the pie, although “good” wasn’t high on the list. However, the maple syrup really did a decent job of holding together (especially once the filling had cooled). The biggest downfall was my homemade pie crust, something I’m still working on perfecting. (It generally tastes fine, but its structural integrity leaves something to be desired, a rather ironic shortfall for a mechanical engineer.) I had never tasted maple syrup with cranberries before, and the combination is pleasantly fall-like.
And moving on!
Canned cranberry jelly, while not something I personally see the appeal of, is the favorite of some people. Maybe I’ll like it better when you add stuff to it and serve it in pretty glasses, instead of just slicing it on a plate. With that theory in hand, we’re attempting Cranberry Noel Dessert.
Cranberry Noel Dessert
Beat together 1 lb. can Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce and 2 tblsps. sugar. Fold in 1/2 pt. heavy cream, whipped, and 1/2 tsp. almond extract.
This was also very easy to whip up. I even forgot an ingredient shot, it’s so easy.
Can-shaped jelly and sugar!
And folded with whipped cream!
To make it look that much more awesome, a little cranberry and mint-leaf garnish.
The Cranberry Noel Dessert (which we rapidly started calling “cranberry fluff” just to save time) was also good, much better than plain old sauce-from-a-can. I don’t know if it necessarily needed the extra two tablespoons of sugar, since canned jellied cranberry sauce tends to be quite sweet. (Perhaps it was more tart, back in the day?) Regardless, it melded together nicely with whipped cream. I could even see turning this into a freezer pie, potentially…
Whatever form your cranberries take this week, we hope you have a fun and delicious Thanksgiving holiday!
Cranberry Maple Pie is from an advertisement December, 1939, in Woman’s Day magazine. Cranberry Noel Dessert is also from a Woman’s Day magazine advert, but later — December, 1954. Both were found via the TJS Labs Gallery of Graphic Design.