According to Ocean Spray, you can tell how fresh a cranberry is by how high it bounces. Whether you grow your own or purchase them fresh from the produce aisle, fresh cranberries provide a nice addition to the table from late September to early December. Before using fresh berries, sort thoroughly, removing soft berries and stems. Rinse in cool water and allow to drain well.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Associated with the holiday season, fresh cranberry sauce provides a sweet, yet tart side dish for any meal. Ocean Spray recommends using 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water for each 12 oz. of cranberries. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Add cranberries and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Allow to cool completely then store in the refrigerator.
Cranberry Apple Pie
Add cranberries to an apple pie for a twist on a traditional American dessert. Simply add 1/2 cup fresh cranberries to any apple pie recipe.
Use fresh cranberries to make homemade cranberry juice. According to Better Juice, fresh cranberry juice is nutritionally superior to prepared juices. Better Juice recommends juicing one to two handfuls of cranberries per glass. Fill the remaining portion of the glass with apple juice. This helps to cut the heavy acid content of the cranberries.
Add fresh cranberries in place of blueberries to a basic muffin recipe. The addition of orange zest to the recipe will enhance the flavor of the cranberries.
Decorate a holiday cake with sparkling fresh cranberries. Lightly beat egg whites. Dip the cranberries into the egg whites and then into sugar. Allow to dry and arrange on the top of the cake.