Cooler temperatures are here and with that, a shift towards seasonal scents and tastes. Yes, pumpkin spice has arrived in full force but what else evokes the flavors of fall? Cranberries. Sweet and tart, red and robust, the versatile berry finds its way into sauces, spreads, desserts and breads. A colorful addition to the table, cranberries are also considered to be a “superfood” due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content.
Chilled or warm, cranberries also add a boost to any meal or dish. For holiday gatherings, traditional homemade cranberry sauce can be spiced up with orange zest or ginger (or both), creating complementary flavors when paired with soft cheeses such as brie or chevre (goat cheese). for a sweet-meets-savory treat.
Here’s a simple and flavorful appetizer that is easily customizable for allergies or dietary preferences with simple substitutions along the way. It’s a fun fall, small bite that can add flair to your table.
Herbed crackers or sliced/toasted rustic bread or baguette, warm brie and fresh cranberry sauce. You can even add roasted turkey. That’s it. And, pro tip, you can experiment with many variations by adding ingredients that you enjoy.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce Ingredients & Instructions
- 1 cup of water
- 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup plus two tablespoons of sugar
- 1 to 2 tsp. fresh grated orange zest
- 1 tsp. or so grated fresh or frozen ginger root (a few dashes so as not to overpower the fruit flavors)
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries. Stir and return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium to a gentle boil for approximately 10 minutes. Add the orange zest and ginger as desired while the berries are starting to pop open and stir. Keep an eye on things. When most of the cranberries burst open, mash a bit with a spoon to the desired consistency. Strain for smooth or leave naturally textured before transferring to a bowl. Cover and chill.
Appetizer Ingredients & Instructions
- Craft using herbed crackers or sliced rustic bread, warm brie and cranberry sauce
- Spoon ingredients into cracker or bread
- Garnish with a touch of fresh rosemary or mint
- Consider adding caramelized pecans as an additional flavor option (if there is no nut allergy)
All of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. Always check the labels.
Create Perfect Pairings!
Allow guests to craft their own small plates with elements arrayed on a charcuterie board.
Sauvignon Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, Dry Cava or Prosecco, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir