In this post, you will learn how to make these beautiful decorations for your Holiday desserts: sugared cranberries, and sugared rosemary. These decorations are great for dressing up cakes, desserts, and cocktails with festive and colorful details.
Sugared cranberries are a lovely way to give a nice pop of color to your festive treats. You can use cranberries or other fresh fruits like berries, cherries, and grapes. Avoid using cut fruit since the interior juices of the fruit will macerate with the sugar and turn it into liquid. You can also use dry fruits, such as plums, apricots, dates, or mangoes.
Sugared rosemary leaves
Use the same process to make sugared rosemary leaves or sprigs. They make such a cute garnish as they resemble a frosted pine tree. Here, you can play with different leaves to get different looks. Be mindful of using only edible leaves, and avoid herbs with a very strong or savory perfume. For instance, I would make sugared rosemary, mint, or sage. But I would avoid herbs such as oregano.
Can you use frozen cranberries?
You can get beautiful sugared cranberries from frozen ones. Add them straight from the freezer to the syrup. A good rule of thumb for other fruits is avoiding fruit that would leak juice or get an ugly shape when thawed. I found that in cranberries, cherries, and grapes, the firmness of their skin helps the fruit keep its shape even after thawing.
Sugared cranberries and rosemary conservation
Store sugared fruits and leaves at room temperature or in the fridge in an airtight container with a paper towel base, trying not to stack them. Store for up to 5 days. If the fruit starts to macerate with the sugar, roll the fruits in sugar again before serving. Dried fruits, such as apricots, can be stored at room temperature, well covered.
Sugared Cranberries and Rosemary Leaves
- 120 g cranberries or rosemary leaves/ sprigs
- 120 ml Water
- 160 g Granulated sugar for the syrup
- 200 g Granulated sugar to cover the fruits
- Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to high heat. Once boiling, turn off the stove.
- Wash and dry the cranberries or rosemary. Place them in the saucepan with the syrup and mix carefully. If you're using frozen cranberries, use them straight from the freezer. For the rosemary, check that each leaf is well covered with syrup.
- Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon or sifter and spread them on a drying rack. Separate the cranberries to avoid them sticking to each other.
- Let dry at room temperature for one hour. They should be sticky. If you do not have a drying rack, see the note below.
- Place the rest of the sugar on a deep dish. Roll the fruits in the sugar until they are completely covered.
- Place them back on the drying rack and let them dry for 7-8 hours until the sugar has stuck well and they are dry.
- Store in an airtight container with a paper towel base at room temperature or in the fridge.