A friend called yesterday and asked what would be local and suitable to bring to a brunch with pancakes or french toast. Local fruit in Maine? In November? Cranberries of course! And perfect for around Thanksgiving. After giving her the basics over the phone, I got the creative bug and decided to make pancakes for the girls this morning and test the cranberry syrup recipe while I was at it. I then made this quick french toast with some leftover, stale baguette. One egg, a little milk, a sprinkle of sugar, soak the bread, butter into the pan and ta da… pretty picture. And my lunch. Yum.
The interesting bit of discovery that came from making the syrup is that when it cooled, it was more like jam. When I heated it up again, it became more liquidy. The way it set up indicates that cranberries have a lot of pectin in them, the thickening agent often used in jams and jellies. It would probably make a great mate with other berries in a jam project although I’ve never tried it due to the fact that cranberries are not in season when other berries are.
1 1/2 cup cranberries
1 cup water (or more if you like the syrup a little looser)
1 cup sugar pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Mash the cranberries once they’ve popped with a potato masher. You can strain this sauce, but I preferred it with all the cranberry bits. Serve hot.
Makes about 1 cup