Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce + Maple Syrup = Breakfast!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce + Maple Syrup = Breakfast!
Slow cooker cranberry sauce becomes pancake syrup
Now that’s what I call leftovers

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.

Coming soon: A recipe for these sweet pups

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

  1. Put all the ingredients into the insert of your slow cooker. Cook on LOW for at least 10 and up to 15 hours.
  2. If it seems too wet after 12 hours, turn to HIGH and leave the cover off for another hour or two.
  3. 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

  1. 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.