Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cranberry cordial, three ways: 3 recipes

Cranberry cordial with Kitchen Ninja label
Boozy leftovers: what's not to like?

Let me explain. A few weeks ago I decided to try making a batch of cranberry cordial that I saw featured in an article in Yankee magazine on all things cranberry for the holidays. As long as it didn't suck, I planned to give bottles of it to a group of my husband's co-workers as holiday gifts.

So I simmered up some Shiraz, sugar and cranberries, steeped it for a few days, added brandy and voila! (Recipe #1)

Verdict? It didn't suck. In fact, it was quite yummy, especially when combined with Prosecco to make what I'm calling a "Cranberry Royale." (Recipe #2)

But here's the fun part.

As a hard-core recycler, it was paining me to think that I had to just throw away all those lovely, booze-soaked cranberries. They tasted tart and sweet and were a such a beautiful scarlet. What could I make with these?

I posed the question on Facebook and got some great suggestions: compote, bread, scones, cheesecake. But the winner was brie en croute. (Recipe #3)

What a holiday entertaining lineup, all courtesy of the humble New England cranberry.

#1: Cranberry Cordial (adapted from Yankee magazine)

Ingredients (this doubles easily)
1 750ml bottle inexpensive Shiraz or Merlot
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups brandy

Combine wine, sugar and cranberries in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the berries pop. Cool and refrigerate 4 days to steep the berries.

After 4 days, strain the mixture, stir in the brandy and pour into glass bottles. Retain the boozy berries!

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#2: Cranberry Royale (a Kitchen Ninja original)

Pour one tablespoon of Cranberry Cordial into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and enjoy!

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#3: Brie en Croute (inspired by the Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry box)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
One round of brie
About 1 cup of boozy cranberries from above

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the sheet into a 14-inch square. Place the brie in the center of the sheet and top with a generous amount of cranberries. Fold the pastry up over the cheese and berries to cover. Trim any excess pastry and press to seal. Decorate the top with the pastry scraps, if desired (I used a tiny cookie cutter and put some shapes on the top to cover the seam -- it was cute and easy).

Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve with crackers or bread.


  1. Dear Lady Ninja,

    I have recently become aware of cordials, liquors, and elixirs, and was on the hunt for a recipe to use up my cranberries. I found your page, and with a spare bottle of red wine, I made your Cordial #1. HOLY Mother of Adult Beverages!! Decadent, beautiful, and down right delicious, this recipe is as tasty as it is to behold. It was a perfect start to what I suspect may become my part-time obsession. Have a wonderful, prosperous, and joyous New Year!!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you found and enjoyed the recipe -- I've always felt that it didn't get the attention it deserved. Come back and share with me what other cool beverages you're making!