At some point during the long and cold Boston winter I made a delicious crumble featuring frozen organic cherries and cranberries (recipe linked below). I enjoyed the filling so much that I was inspired to use the same fruit combination to make an all-purpose sauce that could serve as an accompaniment to various dishes.
Instead of baking the fruit until hot and bubbly, I simmered the ruby- and mauve-hued mixture until the fruit broke down into a luscious syrupy sauce.
The addition of dried cherries and cranberries adds a welcome chewiness to the thick and gooey sauce. Just a touch of pure maple syrup provides the perfect sweet counterbalance to the tart cranberries.
The cranberry-cherry flavor profile pairs equally well with savory and sweet dishes. This fruit sauce is perfect served alongside pan-seared pork chops or baked ham (shown in photograph above), mixed into tangy Greek yogurt or muesli (shown in photograph below), or spooned on top of either steaming hot oatmeal or cold & creamy vanilla frozen yogurt.
This recipe lends itself to any number of variations: sub in frozen and dried berries of your choice, toss in a chopped apple or pear, and/or experiment with different flavor additions such as ground ginger or grated citrus peel.
This cranberry-cherry sauce is elegant enough to earn a place on the Thanksgiving table, but is easy enough to prepare for a weekday dinner.
- 4 cups frozen cherries (preferably organic)
- 2 cups frozen cranberries
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp pure maple or vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, stirring to mix.
- Place on stove over medium-high heat until the fruit begins to sizzle (about 2 minutes).
- Reduce stove heat to low and simmer until fruit breaks down and sauce has thickened (about 20 minutes), stirring often. If the cranberries need a little help breaking down, gently press with the back of a spoon until they burst.
- Serve warm or chilled.