I made these on a whim a few years back and now they're a staple on Thanksgiving day! The sweet and the tart blend together in a way that is so dazzling in your mouth! They're the perfect color to a cookie tray and the perfect before or after dinner snack. I save the simple syrup and use it in cocktails for a little hint of cranberry. Kids will even eat them!
2 cups sugar, divided
12 ounces fresh cranberries
To make the sugar syrup, bring the sugar and water to a gentle simmer. Use a whisk to help break up the crystals. Do not boil. Set aside.
Meanwhile, rinse your cranberries discarding any bruised or damaged ones. You want firm berries. Pour them into a bowl. Add the warm sugar syrup to the bowl. If the syrup is too hot, the cranberries will burst. Test a small batch if need be.
The cranberries will naturally float to the surface so cover them with a plate to keep them submerged. Once completely cool, cover the bowl (and plate) with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
To make the cranberries, drain them in a colander reserving the syrup. You will not need the syrup. Transfer the berries to a large shallow bowl lined with paper towels. Pat dry to absorb all of the liquid. You want the cranberries to feel tacky, but not wet.
In a small bowl, add about 2 tablespoons of either organic cane sugar or Turbinado. Add only 3-4 berries and jiggle them around in the bowl to coat. Make sure not to overcrowd the bowl as the sugar will get wet and clump. If this happens, just change it out and start again. Transfer the berries to a wire rack and allow to dry for a couple of hours, minimum of 2. They are ready when the sugar is slightly firm, forming a crust. Do not store in an airtight container as they will become soggy.
Fluffy Gilfeather Turnip Soufflé
2 tblsp. butter
1 tblsp. chopped onion
3 cups Gilfeather® Turnip, boiled and mashed
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tblsp. sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten, plus 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter in a large pan. Add onion and sauté until a delicate brown. Remove from heat. Add turnips, salt, sugar, pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Add the beaten egg yolks. Fold in the stiff egg whites. Put into greased baking dish or soufflé dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until solid in the middle.
This is Amy's favorite apple pie recipe. The pie is made with honey rather than sugar. The honey flavor comes through in the pie and gives the pie a rich, decadent flavor.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 sticks cold butter cut into 1/4" slices
7-8 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4" thick
2/3 cup honey
3 TB flour
1 TB lemon juice
2 TB melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
For the crust
Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and give it a quick pulse to mix. Toss in the slices of cold butter. Using the pulse button, pulse 7-8 times for 1 second each time until the flour butter mixture looks like very coarse cornmeal. Run a fork through it and look for butter chunks. The largest chunks should be pea sized or a bit larger (high bush blue berry sized?). Transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup of water and fold flour in from outer edges of bowl with a rubber spatula. The goal in mixing water into the dough is to do it with as few strokes as possible so use some strategy. You will need to add more water, depending on how cold your butter is, moisture content of flour etc. You may need as much nearly another 1/3 cup but probably not quite that much. As soon as it starts holding together, use your hands to gather the dry flakies that resist capture and form the dough into two equal sized balls. The dough wants to be just moist enough to come together, and not so dry that your balls want to crack apart again. Press your dough balls into flattened rounds and proceed to rolling it out if you are ready. If you aren't, wrap your flattened rounds in plastic and refrigerate (can be made a couple days ahead).
For the filling
Melt the butter and if your honey is thick and creamy, let it heat along with butter so that it is easier to blend with the apples. No need to heat it lots, just enough to make it pour easier. Pour the honey/butter mix over the apple slices in a large bowl and mix to coat. Add the flour, cinnamon, lemon juice.
Assemble your pie and bake at 425°F in the middle of your oven for 30 mins. Then turn the temp down to 350°F and bake until lightly browned and bubbling - another 15-25 mins.
Crispy Potato Roast
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Martha Stewart. We’ll be eating this potato dish for the second year in a row this Thanksgiving. You can substitute sweet potatoes for russets if you prefer. You may have to play around with baking dishes depending on the size of your potatoes.
3 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
3-4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled (smaller diameter potatoes are great, if you can find them)
4 shallots, peeled
8 sprigs thyme
Garnishes (optional): Bits of goat cheese, crumbles of bacon and/or bits of crisped pancetta
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine butter and oil. With a sharp knife or manoline, slice potatoes crosswise very thinly. Figure out what baking dish you’d like to use; Martha suggests a 9-inch round baking dish (a deep dish pie pan would fit this bill) though you could go an inch bigger, an oval 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish might also be pretty.
Once you’ve picked the dish that seems the best fit for your slices, pour a tablespoon or so of the butter/oil mixture in the bottom and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the oil mixture with a few pinches of coarse salt and red pepper flakes, if using; this will allow you to season both the top and underside of the potatoes. Arrange your potato slices vertically in the dish.
Thinly slice shallots with your mandoline and slide shallot slivers between potato wedges, distributing them as evenly as possible. Brush with remaining oil/butter mixture. Generously season your dish with salt; go easier on the red pepper flakes, if using. Bake 1 1/4 hours, then arrange thyme sprigs on top and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisped top, about 35 minutes more. If casserole seems to brown too fast, cover it with foil to slow it down. Add any garnishes, if using, and serve immediately.
Gilfeather Turnip Soup
Adapted from a recipe created by Greg Parks, Chef at Newfane's Four Columns Inn.
5-6 TB butter
3 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 lbs. Gilfeather turnips, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup half and half
scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
salt and pepper to taste
A few handfuls of fresh spinach (or some shoots perhaps?)
Melt butter in 5 quart kettle and saute chopped onion and garlic until soft but not browned. Add stock and chopped turnips and cook until tender. Drain and reserve some of the liquid. Puree mixture in food processor until smooth. Put through a food mill or sieve and return to kettle. Add seasonings and half and half. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add reserved cooking liquid if soup is too thick. Saute spinach in a small amount of olive oil until just wilted. Use spinach as a garnish on top of the soup before serving.
1 large apple, unpeeled, halved, and cored
1/2 navel orange, unpeeled and seeded
2 cups cranberries (thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
In a food processor, working with each ingredient separately, pulse apple, orange, cranberries, and walnuts until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in sugar.
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons
My gracious Thanksgiving hosts like to have a squash soup ready during the day for snacking. Try this winter squash soup, especially if you have squash building up! You can use a combination of squash or one kind. Your butternut squashes this week are a little over 2 pounds. This recipe is another one from the Smitten Kitchen vault. Serves 8
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
For soup: Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
For croutons: Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.
* If you are not confident in your knife skills or lack a very very sharp one, I’d suggest roasting the squash, halved and seeded, on a baking sheet coated lightly with oil at 425 until soft, scooping it into the pot, and cooking it the rest of the way there.