This Christmassy cranberry fool is versatile like Christmas in our house in Germany: tart but also sweet, in a kind of chaotic order, full of color, creamy, fruity and crunchy. Gonna miss Christmas in Germany this year!
The December in Germany is a very special month, it is a time full of anticipation and Christmas market visits, where you meet friends for one or actually some more mugs of hot Gluehwein (mulled wine). For 24 days we open a small package from our Advent calendar and the four weeks before Christmas we have a decorated Advent wreath with four candles on our table. We start with one and each Sunday we light one more candle. Not to mention the cookies and sweets, plates with these goodies are everywhere, a trap for even the ones on a healthy diet.
Christmas Eve is not only the end of the long Christmas party marathon, it is also for nearly every German the most important holiday of the year.
It is the night you spend with your family: kids are happy and can’t sit still, you fight a battle in your kitchen but somehow you always win, the tree is finally up and decorated, the last gifts have to be wrapped. We used to annoy my parents with ongoing asking: when is dinner gonna be ready? You can feel the rising tension…
Just before all hell breaks loose, the food is on the table, it’s the moment to celebrate. The grown-ups clink their glasses and finally, it’s the real Christmas Eve.
Some families serve German potato salad and Bockwurst (sausage) but my family always goes for a feast. We use to have lots to choose from and several kinds of everything: fish, meat, side dishes, and gravy. I don’t think I ever managed to taste all of it!
After eating too much and we are barely able to move, it’s the time for unwrapping the gifts. Sounds like mission impossible but it’s the second best part of the day. Watching the happy faces makes the previously gift hunting worth it, every year. Making wishes come true is even better than getting presents. When it’s about time for dessert! Sometimes we are still sitting on the floor under the Christmas tree, wrapping paper and gifts everywhere, talking, making jokes while eating a sweet goodness.
Christmassy cranberry fool
I used Greek yogurt to make the cream less heavy but you can use mascarpone if you like. Usually, I serve Christmassy cranberry fool in stemless wine or whiskey glasses but you can use a bowl instead to make it easier to bring along to a holiday party.
- 340 g / 12 ounce fresh cranberries
- 100 g / ½ cup sugar
- ½ - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 200 g / ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon chilled heavy whipping cream
- 65 g / ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 250 g / 1 cup greek yogurt
- 125 g / 4.4-ounce butter shortbread (gluten-free if necessary)
- Add the washed cranberries and 100 g / ½ cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, over medium / low heat. After 7-10 minutes the cranberries should have popped open, then remove from heat and let cool. The cranberries will thicken even more as it cools. Puree with a hand-held blender or food processor and add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, taste and add more if you like. It should taste tart with a noticeable cinnamon aroma. Cover and refrigerate (this can be made one day ahead).
- Crumble the cookies into small bites and make sure to reserve some cookies for the decoration and set aside.
- Combine whipping cream and 65 g / ⅓ cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip to soft peaks then add vanilla extract and continue to whip stiff peaks. Gently fold in the greek yogurt. Refrigerate until needed.
- In dessert bowls or glasses (whiskey glasses works well) alternate the cream mixture, cranberries, and cookie crumbles. Top the Christmassy cranberry fool with the reserved cookies and refrigerate for up to 3 hours or serve immediately.