The Best Way to Make and Use Sugared Cranberries
Are you as excited for Christmas as I am? I can’t tell you how much we have been waiting for this time of the year. It’s always an uplifting time for the soul!
In the rush of the season, when I want to bake basically everything and share it with the people I love, sugared cranberries are always around. They are so full of sweetness and make the perfect thinking-of-you gift. Also, they will make any baked good look as if it came out of a Christmas tree instead of an oven.
What I love about sugared cranberries, besides that deep burgundy reddish color, is that they are super easy and foolproof. You can make them by using two methods: making a hot simple syrup to soak the fruits or using maple for soaking. The skin of the cranberry is very delicate and the risk of making your own hot simple syrup is that when you add the cranberries to the sugar they could pop and start bleeding. This would not happen with the maple syrup method.
Another point I noted is that cranberries have the tendency to sweat after being sugared if they are touching each other but with the maple syrup method this is not much of an issue, I guess because the fruit wasn’t exposed to heat and their skin never broke. You’re not supposed to store them touching one another but mine are in a ziplock plastic bag and haven’t sweated since I put them there 3 days ago. You will need to let them dry very well though. Technically they are set after one hour of sugaring, but I leave mine in a baking tray exposed to the air for 1 day and again, pretty much intact!
I sugared them two ways for different textures, but you might as well sugar them with just one texture of sugar.
If you have never tried this it’s time to get your fingers sticky and sweet! I’m sure you will love to have them around all the time too!
Fresh cranberries – About 12 oz, a small bag
Maple syrup – 2 to 2 ½ cups
Regular raw sugar – about ½ cup
Super fine sugar (or just regular sugar passed through a food processor or Nutri Bullet, etc.) – about ½ cup
Total time - 20 minutes plus overnight time in the fridge Active time - 30 minutes
To make the cranberries: Place cranberries in a bowl and cover them with the syrup. The syrup should cover all the cranberries. Soak overnight or up to 8 hours.
Next day drain the cranberries with a strainer. You may bring back your syrup to the bottle. The syrup will not end with a heavy cranberry flavor.
Prepare two plates or trays with the sugars. Start rolling the cranberries on one of the sugars, about 6 to 8 at a time. This is the fun part when your fingers get super sticky! Pick each cranberry from the sides and place it over a baking sheet with parchment paper on the bottom. Repeat with all the cranberries, alternating the sugars. Let them dry for at least more than an hour, ideally for a whole day.
To store them, poke holes throughout a big plastic bag and place them there.
Easy Chocolate Tart with Sugared Cranberries
(To make the chocolate crust, just use chocolate graham crackers or add two tablespoons of cocoa powder when crushing the graham crackers and a good pinch of sugar.)
Sugared Cranberries – Recipe above
Ensemble the tart al let it set overnight, even one day before serving.