Have I mentioned that I married a freak? That’s right: My husband, who’ll eat approximately one blazillion more out-there foods than I will (seriously, he’ll eat just about anything, while I get fairly squeamish about texture and, y’know, yuckiness), hates cooked fruit.
Sometimes I forget this. Sometimes, say, it’s the afternoon before our itty-bitty Just the Three of Us Thanksgiving and there’s a package of cranberries in the fridge simply begging to be used. And I toss them in the slow cooker with a couple other ingredients, set it to LOW, and let it go overnight. In the morning I wake to the most perfectly Thanksgiving-worthy smell ever. I take a tiny taste, and swoon at the flavor, so deeply comforting I want to wrap it around me. And come dinnertime… I’m the only one who eats this amazing creation. Stephen takes a small taste—he’s kind that way—but Harry flat-out refuses. No idea why, since he’s a fruit fiend. But whatever.
Even after the open-faced day-after sandwiches, I have leftover Maple-Apple Cranberry Sauce. Several cups of leftover Maple-Apple Cranberry Sauce. And I hate to waste food. So over the weekend, when I make pancakes, I warm up a single-serving batch of Maple-Apple Cranberry Syrup. And then I turn a little more than half of what remains into Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies, an experiment for the upcoming NYC Holiday Cookie Swap.
There’s still just under a cup of this amazing stuff left. What would you do with it?
Slow Cooker Maple-Apple Cranberry Sauce
Makes about a quart
One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, sorted and rinsed
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Juice of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of salt
- Put all the ingredients into the insert of your slow cooker. Cook on LOW for at least 10 and up to 15 hours.
- If it seems too wet after 12 hours, turn to HIGH and leave the cover off for another hour or two.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and refrigerate the sauce if you’d like it to gel, or serve warm.
MAKE BABY FOOD: It’s perfectly safe, but it does have added sugar from the maple syrup. Save it for special occasions only.
Maple-Apple Cranberry Syrup
Makes 1 serving, and multiplies well
1 tablespoon leftover Maple-Apple Cranberry Sauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Warm briefly in a microwave or small saucepan over low heat.
MAKE BABY FOOD: This version has considerably more sugar than the plain sauce, so I wouldn’t serve it to baby at all—though it’s safe if she happens to swipe a taste off your plate.