Remember this past August? When I was just a strange young(ish) woman doing strange things like rambling about the rain and making spuma, then waxing poetic about it at you? So much has ch… Nope. Not much has changed. Except that it’s November, and that I live somewhere else and wear leggings 459% more often.
The November part is important. It’s when we finally say goodbye to canned pumpkin — which makes zero sense because canned pumpkin, by definition, is not seasonal. Can you imagine a “cranberry season” where all we seem to do is chug bottled cranberry juice and Instagram vodka crans with #ilovenovember? (I can, I did, and it made me laugh.) But I’ll stop ruining the fun and being a hypocrite now.
Cranberries roll in to stay clear through New Year’s Eve, pretty much — and I can get down with that pretty hard. Tart, pretty, juicy, versatile: there’s nothing about them I don’t love. They also happen to be perfect for spuma, which is a delightful dairy-free frozen dessert that I can’t shut up about.
I can’t emphasize enough how easy and quick this is. I describe it as a meringue-sorbet hybrid, which isn’t fair because while it’s accurate, meringue is fussy and sorbet requires an ice cream maker. Neither is true here.
We just make a simple cranberry syrup (this is thicker than the apricot version I linked earlier, but it works the same way), fold it into some fluffy whipped egg whites, and freeze it.
If your folding game is not perfect (mine isn’t) and you end up with little pockets of white or deep red, don’t even worry about it. You’re not Walter White, know what I mean? Margin of error: We have one.
The maple syrup in here is not particularly strong, but it provides a deeper sort of sweetness. If you want to amp it up, maple extract is the way to go. Alternatively, you could do what I did and just drizzle maple syrup on top. For photo vanity purposes and for delicious purposes.
I would dare say that this would be welcome at most any Thanksgiving table. I mean, haven’t people had their fill of pumpkin already? Or does the world really move slower outside of the foodternet? I don’t know anymore.
Lastly! The giveaway I posted a couple of days ago ends tonight, so do be sure to enter yo’self to win a gift certificate for custom photo recipe gifts from Pinhole Press — or a little book I managed to cobble together over there. It contains my favorite photos and recipes from this last year, and come to think of it… The recipe that sparked my spuma love is in there. The world works in funny ways.
In any case—happy weekend! Let’s brace ourselves for Thanksgiving by googling elegant appetizer recipes and preparing an answer for mom when she asks us why we’re single and Charles Manson isn’t. (Just me?)
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional, for extra maple flavor)
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries and maple syrup. Cook mixture until it is bubbling and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Strain well through wire mesh sieve, pushing down on the mixture to extract all the juices. You should have 1 cup of syrup or so. Stir in the lemon juice and extract, if using, and set aside to cool a bit.
- In a heatproof mixing bowl, combine egg whites with sugar. Set over a pan of simmering water and whisk just until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, about 1 minute.
- Remove bowl from heat and use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks.
- Fold the cranberry syrup into egg white mixture.
- Scoop into a serving dish, even out with a spatula, cover and chill for 2-3 hours until firm.