I've had trouble keeping my boys out of this butter! They watched intently as I made it on the stove and kept asking when it would be ready. We have enjoyed it on toast and homemade biscuits and bread, and the boys can hardly keep their spoons or fingers out of it. Hopefully there will be some left for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning!
The sweet maple syrup and brown sugar balances out the tart fresh cranberries, and the cinnamon adds a bit of smokiness. I was pleasantly surprised at the addition of vanilla extract. You don't really taste it, but the butter had a fuller, richer taste with the vanilla. It is easy to make and comes together in about 30 minutes with very little work. The original recipe doesn't specify type of maple syrup, but Grade B is my choice for cooking because the flavor is richer than Grade A, which is commonly used as table syrup for pancakes and such. Trader Joe's has their own brand of Grade B maple syrup, and I buy it faithfully.
The recipe makes about 12 ounces of maple cranberry butter, which you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
Maple Cranberry Butter
- 3-quart saucepan
- blender or food processor
- glass jar with lid
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the cranberries into the sauce pan and add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. The cranberries should all burst open.
- Blend the cranberry mixture in a blender until very smooth.
- Return the pureed cranberries to the sauce pan and add the maple syrup, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the mixture is thick, about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cool completely and store in a jar in the refrigerator or freezer. Will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator and 3 to 4 months in the freezer.