Three recipes in one post!? It’s CRANdemonium!
My hilarious puns aside, the Stardew Valley recipe train keeps chugging on through the month of November here at Lvl.1 Chef. There’s no better time of year to get your hands on some fresh cranberries, so I wanted you give these ruby colored beauties the spotlight they deserve!
I was planning on taking a break from Stardew Valley recipes for a bit, but when someone gifts you 5 lbs of fresh cranberries you can’t really pass that up! This was the exact situation I found myself in a couple weeks ago, so here we are. I knew Stardew Valley had cranberries as one of its Fall crops so I took another look at the game’s recipe list to see what I could make.
As far as cooking recipes go, there are four total dishes that require cranberries. In fact the Super Meal I posted recently is one of the four! After trying to decide which of the other three I wanted to do next I eventually settled on… well, all of them!
The cranberry sauce, cranberry “candy” ( I don’t know why it’s called candy because the sprite is clearly some kind of juice,) and stuffing recipes are all very straightforward and quick. I didn’t feel like either of them would be compelling enough for a recipe post on their own, so combining them all into one seemed to be the way to go. I usually like to do more unique or bizarre video game foods on this blog, but I totally understand the desire for simple, everyday recipes as well. Indeed my Honeyed Apple recipe from the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of my most popular recipes for that exact reason.
I’m a big fan of cranberries myself. I eat them fresh or frozen right out of the bag much to the horror of my significant other (way too tart for her haha.) That being said, I can’t say I’ve ever had cranberries baked into stuffing before. Whereas the cranberry juice and sauce were recipes I already knew more or less, the stuffing took a bit more work. I initially attempted making it with toasted bread crumbs to compliment the already crunchy hazelnuts (one of the in-game stuffing ingredients alongside bread and of course cranberries,) but it ended up way too crumbly even when using egg as a binder.
To be honest though, I knew before I even started that when it comes to stuffing, I like the kind with big chunks of soft bread. Needless to say I adjusted the recipe and the second time around was much better. The hazelnuts actually lend a fun texture contrast to the whole thing while the cranberries give it a tart element that doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors. It’s not the best stuffing I’ve ever had (i.e. when it’s actually baked inside of the turkey and covered in gravy) but it certainly stands up well on it’s own as a side dish.
So I hope you enjoy these three cranberry based, Stardew Valley inspired recipes. Thanksgiving is right around the corner as I’m typing this so if you’re feeling up to it, give one (or all) of them a try and let me know what you think in the comments below or on any of my social medias. I love hearing from you all!
Note: Personally, I used fresh cranberries for these recipes, but thawed out frozen cranberries will work just as well!
+ Cranberry Sauce +
makes about 3 cups
|Lime Juice*||1 Tbsp.|
|Orange Zest||1 orange’s worth|
*if you don’t have lime, lemon juice would work as well
- Medium sauce pan
- Citrus zester or microplane
1) This is a one step recipe! Simply combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized pot over medium high heat while stirring. Once the sugar is dissolved and you hear the cranberries start to burst, reduce the heat to medium and let the sauce reduce for about 18-20 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set aside to let it cool, then transfer it to a serving dish and place it in the refrigerator to set up completely. Finish the cranberry sauce with a tiny pinch of salt to help bring out the flavor if you’d like!
+ Cranberry Candy (Juice) +
makes about 6 cups
|Apple Juice||4 cups|
- Medium sauce pan
- Large mixing bowl
1) The cranberry
candy juice recipe is fairly simple as well. The good thing about this one is that you can save the leftover cranberry pulp and use it in the stuffing recipe down below! That’s what I call cross-utilization of products! Anyway, start by placing the cranberries and apply juice in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat and let them boil for about 20 minutes. By then end of this period you’ll nice that the bubbles with have gone from white to pink ensuring that the cranberries have all been ruptured.
2) Next, place a cheesecloth-lined strainer over a large mixing bowl and carefully pour the hot cranberry apple juice through it. Use a spoon the gently stir the pulp so it’s not clogging the strainer. Let the cranberry pulp cool for a few minutes and then wrap it up completely with the cheesecloth in order to squeeze the last of the juice out. Using a pair of tongs to twist the bag can also expedite the process. Once you’re satisfied with your yield, transfer the cranberry pulp to a small bowl to save for use in the stuffing recipe below.
3) While the cranberry juice is still warm, stir in 2 Tbsp of sugar until dissolved. At this point the juice is super sweet and actually does kind of taste like candy, so I like to thin it out with some water to help improve the flavor not to mention the yield. I put down 3 cups in the ingredients list above, but feel free to play around with the ratios to your liking. Chill the cranberry juice in the refrigerator and enjoy!
+ Cranberry Hazelnut Stuffing +
makes about 2 quarts
|Onion||2 medium, chopped|
|Celery||3 stalks, chopped|
|Hazelnuts||½ cup, chopped|
|Butter||1 stick (½ cup) + ½ Tbsp.|
|Cranberry Pulp||see above recipe|
|Lemon Zest||1 lemon’s worth|
|Fresh Thyme||1 tsp, chopped|
|Bread||1 lb loaf|
|Garlic Powder||½ tsp|
- Sharp knife and a cutting board
- Small saute pan
- Large stock pot
- Citrus zester
- Casserole dish with lid
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F
2) Start by sauteing the chopped hazelnuts in a ½ Tbsp of butter over medium heat stirring and tossing consistently to prevent burning. Cook the nuts until they’re fragrant and golden brown, set aside.
3) Next, cut your loaf of bread into large 1″ cubes. This is also a good time to chop your veggies and herbs if you haven’t already.
4) Place the chopped onion and celery to a large stock pot over medium heat. Cut your stick of butter into small pieces and add them to the pot as well. Cook the veggies until the onion is translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Next, add the toasted hazelnuts, cranberry pulp, lemon zest, fresh thyme, salt, and spices to the pot and stir to combine. Once everything is incorporated, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the bread cubes. Mix everything together until the bread has absorbed all the liquid. If the stuffing seems a little dry you can add small amounts of milk to the pot until you reach your desired consistency.
5) Butter or spray a casserole dish with pan spray and spoon the stuffing in. Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. After that, remove the top of the dish and continue baking for 10 more minutes uncovered so the top of the stuffing can toast up nicely. Take it out of the oven and you’re all done!
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