Our friends (thanks Katie and Sam), recently (well, a month or two ago) brought us a special treat – freshly picked cranberries. Cranberries grow wild in acidic bogs across North America, Europe, and Asia. Wild cranberries are usually smaller than cultivated ones (Wisconsin is the U.S.’s leading producer of cultivated cranberries), but taste equally delicious! Harvest them in the fall, once the berries have turned from white to red.
Cranberries are loaded with pectin, so easily can be used to make a simple jam. Just simmer cranberries in honey or with sugar and a little water until the cranberries pop. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite jam vehicle. We took this cranberry jam and popovers (recipe below) to our friend’s house for brunch.
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and are believed to possess medicinal properties - cranberries have been used to treat urinary tract infections, prevent cancer & boost the immune system.
Popovers (from Epicurious):
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place 1 piece of butter in the bottom of each cup of a six-cup popover tin or six ramekins. Place the popover pan or ramekins on a baking sheet.
Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture (the mixture may have small lumps; don’t over-mix). Put the popover tin and baking sheet in the oven for 4 minutes (the butter will melt in the tins). Add the batter to the hot tin, dividing evenly among the cups. Bake for 25 minutes without opening the oven door. Enjoy with cranberry jam straight away!