Cranberry Pavlova

Cranberry Pavlova – a meringue-based festive dessert

This Cranberry Pavlova is the perfect light and creamy, meringue-based festive dessert. It is made using left-over Fresh Cranberry Sauce which makes it super-easy to put together.

I always have a family lunch on Boxing Day and serve this pavlova as one of the desserts using sauce prepared for Christmas lunch. It is the perfect dessert for those who have eaten too much Christmas Pudding and want something which is still festive but is a bit lighter!

Making Fresh Cranberry Sauce is really quick and easy. If you haven’t got any left over, it is a matter of minutes to make it from scratch. It is a great accompaniment to a festive meal – either a traditional turkey dinner or a vegetarian alternative. Even better, it can be used as an ingredient in a range of desserts. I will often have some left over if I have made it as a meal accompaniment and sometimes in the summer I make a batch just to make desserts! You just have to make sure that the sauce has time to cool down before it is used to top your pavlova.

Fruit with flavour – cranberry, rhubarb and gooseberry

I love fruit which have a good balance of sharp and sweet flavour. Often, as with this recipe, they need to cooked to bring out their zingy flavour. In addition cranberries, I think rhubarb and gooseberries are both under-rated. If you share my love of a good old-fashioned sharp and sweet fruit recipe, you might like my Rhubarb Fool, Rhubarb Roulade or Gooseberry and Elderflower Sorbet.

Lovely pavlovas

One of the great things about pavlova is that while it has that show-stopping, celebratory vibe, they are actually extremely simple to produce even for inexperienced cooks. It is easy to make the meringue a day in advance and then assembling the pavlova takes a matter of minutes. I make loads of them at Christmas and New Year. In addition to my Cranberry Pavlova, some of my other favourites include Strawberry Pavlova,  Rose and Raspberry Pavlova and Lemon Pavlova.

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Cranberry Pavlova

Cranberry Pavlova

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Cranberry Pavlova is made using left-over Fresh Cranberry Sauce.  It is a fantastic, fruity, meringue-based festive pudding!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 250 ml Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 140 C/275 F/Gas Mark 1.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with salt until they form stiff peaks.
  3. Add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to whisk until combined and the mixture is thick and glossy.
  4. Fold the rest of the sugar, the cornflour and the lemon juice into the whisked egg whites.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment or silicon paper.
  6. Spoon the egg white mixture onto the baking sheet to form a large circle or oval.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour until the exterior of the meringue is hard to the touch.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. When ready to serve, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks and then spread it on top of the meringue base.
  10. Spoon the Fresh Cranberry Sauce over the cream. 

Notes

Making the Fresh Cranberry Sauce is really quick and easy.  You just need to make sure that it is cooled before you assemble your pavlova.

Keywords: pavlova, cranberry, Christmas

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with EasyPeasyFoodie and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday and [email protected]

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Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine and Orange

This is my mother’s recipe for Fresh Cranberry Sauce. She made it once a year on Christmas Eve, ready to be served up on Christmas Day as an accompaniment to the turkey. I have no idea where she originally found the recipe but it was hand-written on a scrap of paper in the tattered recipe file that I inherited from her so I think it is one that she got from somewhere else rather than made up herself.

Why bother making Cranberry Sauce?

There are lots of jars of very good quality Cranberry Sauce which are available all year around and practically fill the sauce shelf in the supermarket in the run-up to Christmas. So why would you bother to make your own? These are the reasons why I make it – hopefully they will encourage you to give it a try!

It smells of Christmas

For me, Christmas smells of this Cranberry Sauce. Whenever I make it, I am transported back to my childhood and to Christmas Eve. There is something about the fruity tang of the cranberries, combined with white wine, orange and cinnamon that captures the Christmas spirit for me. If you make it, take a big old sniff when you are cooking the cranberries and tell me that I am wrong! Even if you do not have any childhood memories associated with it, making this sauce is a pretty good way to get into the Christmas cooking vibe.

It is not just for turkey (or, in fact, for Christmas)

Cranberry Sauce is the traditional accompaniment to Christmas turkey. However, as someone who cooks a Christmas dinner that has to meet a whole range of dietary choices, I know that it goes pretty well with other things too. I serve both turkey and a vegetarian option, usually some kind of pie, and the Cranberry Sauce goes brilliantly with both. Although my mother made this sauce only for Christmas and never at any other time, I make it fairly often during the winter. It is a staple of Sunday lunch and, as you will see below, any left over sauce can be used as the basis of lots of other dishes.

It is really easy to make and can be made in advance

Making this sauce is really easy. It has only a few ingredients and is very quick to make. You can serve it hot but I think it is better if you allow it cool and thicken and let the flavours develop. Therefore, I generally make it a day in advance which is great if you are preparing a big celebration meal as it is one less thing to do on the day.

It is really versatile and can be used as the basis for lots of other recipes

When I make this Cranberry Sauce, I generally leave the cranberries whole in the finished sauce. However, I know that some people find this a bit off-putting as they are used to sauces like this being smooth. If you prefer it that way, you can blend the sauce so that you get jelly with flecks of cranberry which is more like shop-bought versions.

If you have any Cranberry Sauce left over after your big meal, it will keep in the fridge for several days and goes very well with cold meats and vegetarian pies. It is also a brilliant ingredient that can be used to make a number of other recipes including Cranberry Ice Cream, Cranberry Pavlova or Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. I will be posting recipes for all of these on the blog in the next few weeks so watch this space!

Recipe for Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine and Orange

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Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This easy make-ahead Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine, Orange and Cinnamon is the taste of Christmas!


Scale

Ingredients

  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 170 g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 100 ml water
  • 225 g fresh cranberries

Cranberries


Instructions

  1. Grate the orange zest into a small pan.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, sugar, wine and water.  Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the cranberries.
  4. Bring to the boil then simmer very gently for eight minutes until the fruit is tender and most of the berries have burst.
  5. According to taste, you can either leave the cranberries intact or blend the sauce with a hand blender or food processor so that it is smooth.
  6. Cover and set aside to cool until ready to serve.  The mixture will thicken as it cools and the flavours will develop nicely.

Cranberry Sauce


Notes

The Cranberry Sauce will keep in the fridge for two to three days.  

Keywords: Cranberry Sauce, cranberries, Christmas

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Glutarama and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday,  Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Antonia @ Zoale.com

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

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Easy Mincemeat recipe

Easy, home-made, vegetarian Mincemeat – a traditional seasonal recipe

This easy Mincemeat recipe was made by my mother every Christmas. It is based on one in an extremely old and battered copy of Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, which she always kept to hand in her kitchen. However, she made a few adaptations, such as leaving out the mixed peel because she didn’t like it and adding more brandy for the opposite reason. And I follow her example in this.

However, my one change to the recipe is that I use vegetarian suet rather than animal suet. I don’t think it makes any difference to the taste. Mincemeat is a very old recipe, and originally contained meat, and the inclusion of suet was a continuation of this. If you are vegetarian, this recipe has all the taste and no animal products.

Home-made Mincemeat – why on earth would you bother?

You may be wondering why you would bother to make your own Mincemeat when there are a huge number of good quality jars on your supermarket shelves. You might also think that there are even more packets of mince-pies available for you to eat right now without bothering to turn on your oven. In response, I would make the following points.

It’s easy

Firstly, it is extremely easy to make your own home-made Mincemeat. In fact, calling it a recipe, is a bit of a stretch as you just mix the various ingredients together and then leave them for the flavours to develop. Mincemeat does not require any cooking as the sugar and brandy transform and combine the other ingredients.

The one point you need to bear in mind is that you need to make the Mincemeat a month before you plan to use it. It needs this time for the brandy to work its magic on the dried fruit. So if you want to make mince-pies for Christmas, you need to be thinking about making your Mincemeat in late November. In fact, traditionally it is made on Stir Up Sunday which is the last Sunday before Advent. In 2019, this is Sunday, 24th November.

It tastes good

Secondly, there is absolutely no comparison in terms of taste between the shop bought Mincemeat and the one you make at home. Even high quality ready-made versions will have a comparatively high proportion of sugar and a comparatively low proportion of brandy. Yes, even those which state that they contain brandy really do not have very much! Home-made mincemeat is full of flavour as, in addition to the brandy and dried fruit, it has a hit of citrus and spice from the nutmeg and cinnamon.

It is Christmas in a jar…

Thirdly, if you want to get your Christmas baking mojo on, this is absolutely the perfect recipe. With the smell of dried fruit soaked in brandy, you have Christmas right there. You get this when you make the Mincemeat and, again, when you use it to make mincepies. Buttery pastry, warmed brandy-soaked fruit – need I say more?

…or under the tree

Fourthly, if you are looking for home-made present ideas, this is a pretty good one. You can dress up the jar with a few ribbons and you are good to go. As there is essentially no skill involved whatsoever, and doing the mixing is quite fun, it is definitely worth considering as a home-made present from children to older relatives. Provided said relatives like Mincemeat – probably best to check first.

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Mincemeat

Easy Mincemeat recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Category: Pie filling
  • Cuisine: English

Description

With sugar, citrus and dried fruit soaked in brandy, this home-made Mincemeat is Christmas in a jar.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 450 g vegetarian suet
  • 450 g currants
  • 450 g raisins
  • 450 g sultanas
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 1 cooking apple
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 75 ml brandy

Mincemeat


Instructions

  1. Put the suet, dried fruit and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Peel, core and chop the apple and add it to the bowl.
  3. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest.
  4. Pour in the brandy and stir well.
  5. Pack the mixture into sterilised jars.
  6. Place the jars in a cool, dry place and leave for at least a month before using. 
  7. Check the jars every week or so.  If the top of the Mincemeat looks dry, you can top it up with some more brandy.

Mincemeat


Notes

You can sterilise your jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.   

If (unlike me) you like mixed peel, you can also add 450 g of it to this recipe.

It is easy to scale up this recipe if you want to make more mincemeat.  Simply double or triple the quantities of all the ingredients.

The mincemeat should last for at least six months in its jar.  You can also freeze it – taking it out of the jar and putting it into a freezer-proof container – and it will keep for at least twelve months.

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with LostinFood and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday and  Liz at Spades, Spatulas and Spoons

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

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Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam

Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam

These Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam are really quick and easy to make and combine a delicious, gooey cheesiness with the hot-sweet punch of the jam. I think cheese and chilli is a flavour combination made in heaven! You can use either shop-bought or home-made Chilli Jam for this recipe. If you want to make your own, have a look at my really easy Chilli Jam recipe.

I have always made quite a lot of sweet muffins as they lend themselves to seasonal flavours and adaptations – such as my Blackberry Muffins – but I had not made many savoury muffins until recently. Now I make a lot of plain Cheese Muffins – they are my school lunch box salvation on many occasions – but decided to try and make a more adult version. These Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam are the result. However, if you are cooking for non-chilli lovers, you can use this recipe to make plain Cheese Muffins – just don’t add the Chilli Jam.

Gotta love a muffin..

Muffins are the perfect introduction to baking for anyone who lacks confidence in their baking skills. The method is really easy (just combine the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients) and also very quick (20 minutes to cook). This means you can pretty much whip up a batch of muffins whenever you are in the mood! This is good as the only issue with home-made muffins is that they must be eaten fresh. In my opinion, the best time to eat a muffin is when it is still warm from the oven. Otherwise, you need to eat them within a day or so as they will get stale pretty quickly.

Lovely Chilli Jam

I love Chilli Jam. It packs a chilli punch, tempered with sweetness, and is fantastic as a condiment as well as an ingredient. I use it a lot in sandwiches (particularly good with cheese and also hummus) but it is also great with roasted sweetcorn or drizzled onto baked potatoes with a dollop of sour cream.

I make my own Chilli Jam and will sometimes use it in these muffins. However, if I do not have any home-made chilli jam, I will use ready-made and this works really well too. I particularly like the Garlic Jame with Chilli produced by the Garlic Farm which has the additional benefit of garlic flavour too. The heat of these muffins will depend on the the strength of the chilli jam so choose one according to your chilli tolerance.

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Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam

Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam are really quick and easy to make and combine a delicious, gooey cheesiness with the hot-sweet punch of the jam.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 275 g self-raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml milk
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 1 large sprig of thyme
  • 75 g of strongly flavoured cheese (I generally use cheddar or a mixture of 50g cheddar and 25g gruyere)
  • Chilli Jam – (I have a really easy recipe to make Chilli Jam but shop-bought is great too)

Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 200 C/180F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Line a 12-hole muffin tin.
  3. Put the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the egg, milk and melted butter.  Stir to combine.
  5. Remove the leaves from the sprig of thyme, roughly chop them and add them to the mixture.
  6. Finely grate the cheese and stir into the mixture.
  7. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the muffin mixture into each of the lined holes in your muffin tray.  
  8. Make an indentation in each portion of muffin mixture and add a spoonful of chilli jam.
  9. Put the muffin tray in the oven and bake the muffins for 20 minutes until they are risen and golden.
  10. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for five minutes before taking them out of the tin.

Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam


Notes

If you don’t have shop-bought liners, you can easily make your own by cutting baking parchment into squares and using a small jar or tin to mould each square into the hole in the tin before adding the mixture.

If you are cooking for non-chilli lovers, you can just leave out the Chilli Jam and then you have a straightforward gooey cheesy muffin.

Keywords: muffins, cheese, chilli, easy,

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare at Recipes Made Easy and #Baking Crumbs at Jo’s Kitchen Larder and Apply to Face Blog and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday and Antonia @ Zoale.com 

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

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Chilli Jam recipe

Home-made Chilli Jam recipe

This easy, home-made Chilli Jam recipe has a fantastic combination of heat tempered by sweetness. You can use this jam as a condiment to add a boost of heat to pretty much anything! Some of my favourite ways to use are listed below.

  • Use in place of a chutney in sandwiches. It is particularly good with cheese or hummus.
  • Drizzle into a baked potato together with a dollop of sour cream;
  • Makes a great dipping sauce for all kinds of things – prawn crackers, chips, prawns, grilled halloumi..
  • Add as an ingredient to liven up your baking – see my recipe for Cheese Muffins with Chilli Jam.

Lots of lovely chillis..

You can use any kind of fresh chillis to make this jam. When choosing your chillis, bear in mind that the heat of the jam will be in direct correlation to the heat of the chillis that you use. If you are a straight-up hot chilli lover, by all means go for the California Reaper! However, if you like a milder punch of heat, go for something a bit less ferocious such as a Habanero. The Scoville Scale measures the heat of chillis and most of those you buy in stores have an indication of their fierceness. I grow my own chillis and the heat thing is sometimes a bit more hit-and-miss – especially when I forget what variety they are!

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Chilli Jam

Chilli Jam recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Jam
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This fiery Chilli Jam combines the heat of fresh chillis with a sweet  jam.  It is perfect for perking up all kinds of savoury dishes as a condiment or an ingredient.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 100 g fresh chillis (red, green or yellow)
  • 100 g fresh red pepper
  • 750 g jam sugar
  • 40 ml cider or wine vinegar

Chillis


Instructions

  1. Finely chop the chillis and the red pepper and remove the seeds.
  2. Put the sugar and vinegar in a heavy-based pan.  Heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.   
  3. Then add the chopped chillis and pepper to the pan.  Increase the heat and cook at a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the mixture from the pan and blend using a food processor or hand blender.  You should end up with very small pieces of chilli suspended in the jam.   
  5. Pour the jam into a sterilised jar and seal with a lid.Chilli Jam

Notes

You can sterilise your jar by washing it in warm, soapy water, rinsing well and then drying off for 15 minutes in an oven set at 140C/120C fan/gas 1.       

The jam will keep for several months.  Once you  have opened the jar, keep it in the fridge.

Keywords: jam, chilli,

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare at EasyPeasyFoodie

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

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