A festive bowl of sugared cranberries merits a place at my buffet table for special occasions and certainly commands a spot during the holidays. Sugared cranberries resemble frosty winter berries and pair nicely with traditional menus and décor. My sister-in-law first served them, and I immediately snatched the recipe.
Early Native American tribes gave cranberries a variety of names until Dutch and German settlers dubbed them “crane berries” after the red on crane birds. Cranberries grow in bogs and are one of the few fruits native to North America. The Pacific Northwest grows and harvests cranberry crops along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to Oregon. Oregon is the fourth largest national cranberry producer followed by Washington, host of the Cranberry Coast from Grays Harbor to the Long Beach peninsula. Most PNW cranberry farmers sell to the company Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. based in the east.
Sugared cranberries’ beauty marries perfectly with their berry tartness and sugary sweetness. This superfood delivers powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. I wish I could serve you some right now, but I can pass on the recipe!
- 2 C fresh cranberries
- 2 C granulated sugar
- 2 C water
- ¾ C superfine sugar (put extra granulated sugar in a blender or coffee grinder)
Mix granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat (boiling water can cause cranberries to pop open). Stir in cranberries and pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid if desired which makes great simple syrup. Put superfine sugar in a shallow dish, add the cranberries and roll to coat. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet and leave at room temperature for one hour or until dry. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.
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