Monday, September 14, 2015

Cranberry-Strawberry Sauce - Low Carb & Sugar Free

This evening I decided that my absence from cranberries was about to come to an end. As many of my regular followers know, I am somewhat of a cranberry freak. You know, cranberries to me are like shrimp is to Bubba (of Bubba Gump Shrimp in the movie Forrest Gump). LOL So, I grabbed a bag of those frozen little beauties that I socked away over the winter (I actually froze a few big bags of them). I made a double batch of my sugar free Cranberry Orange Sauce, and made a few tweaks. Instead of straight up cranberry sauce, I had summer's strawberries clash with fall's cranberries and made Cranberry Strawberry Sauce. I had a container of Driscoll's organic strawberries that needed to be used, so I introduced them to the cute little cranberries and the results were awesome. Sort of a cranberry sauce/strawberry jam of sorts.

Yesterday morning I made a batch of my Chocolate Glazed Spiced Pumpkin Donuts for our Sunday breakfast. They turned out great, but I made a discovery that I thought I would share. The very first donut pan I purchased was a Wilton Nonstick Donut Pan. It worked nicely for a while. Not long after I bought the Wilton pan, I also purchased a USA Pan Donut Pan (according to Amazon I purchased it on September 18th last year...LOL). Last fall, on one of my other donut recipes I made, I had someone tell me that theirs were sticking in their donut pan (the Wilton pan). I didn't connect it to the pan and we tried working through the recipe to see what she might have done differently than I did since mine turned out nicely (I had used the USA Pan). We never did figure it out.

So yesterday I decided to do some experimenting. I used the exact same batch of donut batter and made half in each pan (6 donuts per pan). What a difference! When I first started using the Wilton pan, it worked like a charm and donuts just flipped right out. Some folks say that maybe using spray oil to grease them builds up. Regardless, the first time I tried flipping them from the Wilton pan yesterday, NONE of them came in zero. I used a small rubber spatula and gently loosened around each of them and then tried again. One didn't make it and while the 5 others came out, they stuck all over the pan and were not pretty! When I flipped the USA Pan donuts, they literally slid right out without a trace of anything in the pan. I used the exact same Pompeian Coconut Oil Spray (with no propellants or CFCs) to grease both pans. I baked them side by side in the oven. I am beginning to think that the nonstick property of the Wilton pan doesn't last. Have any of you noticed that with your Wilton donut pans? I don't think I will be using mine anymore. I've gradually transitioned most of my baking pans over to USA Pans because nothing sticks to them. I snapped a few photos of my donut drama below as well as photos of my Cranberry-Strawberry Sauce and the recipe for it. Enjoy!

Notice the frost on the frozen cranberries!

Donut Pan Experiment (these are ready to be baked)
This is what happened with the Wilton pan (after loosening with a rubber spatula)
USA Pan Donut Pan - not a speck stuck in it

Cranberry-Strawberry Sauce in about 15 minutes

Cranberry-Strawberry Sauce


4 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and drained

2 cups diced fresh strawberries
1 cup water
1 cup Swerve Sweetener or erythritol (preferably powdered)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon liquid stevia, or to taste


In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, strawberries, water, and powdered sweetener; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently on low for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the cranberries have popped and sauce has begun to thicken. 

Lightly press (smash) cooked cranberries with back of spoon or potato masher; taste for sweetness and add stevia or additional sweetener, to taste. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes; transfer to a bowl or serving dish, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.



CherylP said...

Your sauce looks great! :) I love strawberry-cranberry jam. :) I'm almost out of my jar; just in time to make more. I actually love to make jam with cranberries plus other low-carb berries, because the cranberries will give it enough pectin to thicken and still leave the carb/fructose count relatively low. :) Cranberry-blueberry is really yummy too, and last year I made a "Berry Butter" by cooking together blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries til thickened, then pureeing with my immersion blender. :)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Cheryl! Never did "berry butter" before...but I have melted/heated up some of the cranberry sauce with Kerrygold butter and used it over pancakes. Love it! Great idea though on blending it for the smoother effect. I was thinking about doing a version with the frozen wild blueberries I've got. Will do that soon. Love your triple berry medley though. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh no......not those damn cranberries again??????

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Oh yeah! Brace yourself. As Karen Carpenter sang "it's only just begun"! :-)

Sarah in the Sierra Mt. said...

The sauce looks wonderful. But the jars, oh the jars. Now they look fantastic. So where do I buy my own. Depending on the expense these would work very well for Christmas gifts with raffia ribbon and lovely tags. i can see it now.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Sarah in the Sierra Mt.

Darlene said...

I was one who had a problem with getting your Carrot Cake donuts out of the Wilton pans last September. Since purchasing USA pans, I have had no problem whatsoever with any baked goods sticking! I think you may be right about the Wilton pans losing their non-stick properties with time. I think that mystery is solved! Looking forward to autumn donuts in my USA pans!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sarah in Sierra Mt.,

Thanks! You are right, these jars would make beautiful gifts at Christmas time and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Here is the link to the Amazon page where there are tons of them. Hope you find some you like. I love them...I've got several different kinds and plan to get more myself. :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

You weren't the only one that I heard from. That is why I decided just for the heck of it to use the exact same batch of batter and do everything identical in both pans to compare. I have convinced myself that unless I can figure out a non-baking use for my Wilton donut pan that it is destined for the trash. Glad you are enjoying your USA Pan...they truly are my favorite pans to bake anything with. :-)

Sarah in the Sierra Mt. said...

Thanks so much for the link to the Weck jars. they look worth the price. What sizes did you use? It is hard to tell from your photos. I plan on canning the sauce and sending it to our Army National Guard troop in Af. A small taste of home far away from home. Again thanks for the help.
Sarah in the Sierras

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sarah,

I used 2 different sizes in the photo. The 2 smaller jars for these (each holds a little over 1 cup...(9.8 oz):

The larger round jar in the center of the photo is this one (it holds about 2 cups...(16.9 oz):

I hope that helps. They come in many different sizes and other shapes as well. What a nice and thoughtful gift that will make. When my kids were very little, during "Desert Storm", we made a couple dozen large "care packages" with a personal note in each to the soldier receiving each package. We put all kinds of things in each package. The best gift we received back from them was letters or post cards from them telling us who they were and a little bit about themselves and thanking us. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, just finished making your pumpkin doughnuts for the first time and they are delicious! The maple flavouring is the perfect touch.
I also have Wilton doughnut pans and I have only used them once before. I sprayed them and put my batter in and baked them for 16 min.
The doughnuts would NOT come out of the pans. They hung on for dear life and by the time I was done prying them out 9 out of 12 looked like they had already been chewed. I drizzled the chocolate on them and after a taste test decided I didn't care what they looked like! (I also have a dish of crumbles to nibble on) I have already ordered two USA doughnut pans online and will probably tuck the Wilton's in a back cupboard and eventually toss them out in a fit of future cupboard organiizing.
Thank you for another great recipe!