For most of my life, I ate cranberries exactly twice a year – on Thanksgiving and Christmas – and always in the predictable form of traditional cranberry sauce, more often than not poured from a can, and always dressed up for the occasion in a pretty, cut-crystal serving bowl. Over time, I grew to love dried cranberries atop morning oatmeal and nestled into cookies – and college provided plenty of cranberry juice spiked with splashes of vodka – but fresh cranberries remained elusive, save for that yearly holiday sauce.
A few weeks before Thanksgiving each year, I’d begin to see bags of bright, deeply jewel-colored fresh cranberries appear in the produce section, but always passed them by, drawn to other seasonal favorites. That is until a couple of years ago, when I ventured to make fresh cranberry sauce from scratch. While not exactly a culinary breakthrough, my from-scratch recipe was hands down better than the shelf-stable, prepared variety I had grown used to. It was time to ditch that can for good.
For this year’s Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, I decided to add some sweet, little Forelle pears and a splash of lemon to the mix. My go-to recipe makes enough for a dozen or so holiday dinner guests, but given that this year we will be celebrating on a smaller scale, I’ve been thinking of ways to re-purpose the leftovers.
Enter a nagging box of frozen puff pastry that I’ve been meaning to utilize. Puff Pastry Turnovers called out to me from our packed and disorganized freezer. It was worth a go, even just to free up some space… Luckily, the combination turned out to be a winner. A generous dollop of cranberry pear sauce is tucked inside light, buttery layers of puff pastry, baked to golden oblivion, and dusted with feathery powdered sugar. It’s sweet and tart pastry heaven.