Cranberry Custard Dessert – Monthly Custard Mingle

I took the challange of November Monthly Mingle hosted by Sally @ My Custard Pie

I was thinking this is piece of cake, well it kind of was, it just made me very productive. I have made Finnish gingerbread cookies and cranberry jam and finally I prepared very first time in my life crème anglaise from the scratch. Phew…that was a heart pumping experience, and yes, it curdled, maybe because I forgot to put on Coldplay’s Yellow….but I revived it with Sally’s instructions. And in case worse would have gone worst, I had my store bought custard powder arm length waiting to rescue me. I did not need it!

All you need is very nice homemade custard aka crème anglaise, cranberry relish or cranberry jam and some creative decoration, anything edible, what you have at home will go. I chose gingerbread cookies, because it’s a must have festive cookie in Finland around Christmas time. Same as cranberries, or lingon berries actually in Finland would be even more easily available at this time of the year and might be slightly more affordable.
Here in Dubai it’s cranberry time.

Custard Recipe from My Custard Pie


Compilation of Cranberry Custard Dessert

Take the best dessert serving bowl you have, layer cranberry relish or jam and custard, finish with sprinkle of cookie crumbs and decorate with sugarcoated cranberries and gingerbread cookies. Voilà, Aux Canneberges avec Crème anglaise!


I have linked you to my previous posts and recipes of Finnish Gingerbread Cookies, Easy Beasy Cranberry Jam and really refreshing, crisp Fresh Cranberry Relish. I really recommend this humble relish to side of your juicy turkey plate.

Happy Holidays!

Fresh Cranberry Relish

A dear child has many names is a Finnish proverb and will apply to Cranberry, one of the superfoods, as well. Did you know its Vaccinium oxycoccos, sounds funny. Or mossberry, fenberry, bearberry, what about Sassamanash. In Finnish its Karpalo, how it sounds.

This relish does not need cooking, but food processor or blender. It’s all natural, easy and healthy.
I catch this recipe years ago from Gulf News for having something with turkey dinner. It really works with many dishes as condiment.

Fresh Cranberry Relish

340 g fresh cranberries
1 orange washed, cut in quarters and deseeded
1 lemon washed, cut in quarters and deseeded
1 lime washed, cut in quarters and deseeded
Sugar to taste

1. Wash cranberries and take bad ones away, pulse with food processor or blender until very coarsely chopped.
2. Put lemon, orange and lime with peels in food processor and pulse until relish consistency.
3. Add sugar and blend few more seconds. Adjust sweetness. Store in fridge.

Easy Beasy Cranberry Jam

Think of nice crispy sour red cranberries. We have them in Dubai markets from October to January. That’s when I can enjoy my favorite cranberry cake, I will make it later and share the recipe. Its the best cake ever…. hmmm after chocolade cake, carrot cake, blueberry upsidedown, blackforest…..

I have never experienced American cranberries before, they are kind of woody as texture or consistency and dry. Are they raw actually? The ones I have even picked with my own hands in Finnish woodlands were already touched by first frost and were juicy and soft inside, bit transparent looking red and smaller than these little pearls we have here from America.

After bringing third packet of cranberries on same week, the man in Spinneys fruit section finally asked how do I eat them and are they good. I think he tried and find them far too bitter for eating.

Someone has instructed him that cranberries goes well in drinks?!. No idea about that, I am baking cakes, making jam and relish. Okay I know some Finns they flip couple of frozen berries into drinks like vodka and voila, instant winter drink is done. Not for me though.

I made this jam for custard dessert which suits well for Thanksgiving and Christmas theme.

Cranberry jam

3 cups cranberries
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
½ lemon (grated peel and the meat without white peel)
½ orange (grated peel and the meat without white peel)
½ lime (grated peel and the meat without white peel)

1. Wash cranberries and throw bad ones away.
2. Wash lemon, orange and lime very well, use organic if available.
3. Grate the rind of citrus fruits, peel and deseed. Use meat and rind. (We do not want white cover part, its bitter)
4. Mix all in pan and cook together until cranberries burst and bit more about 20 min.
5. Put in very clean (boiled) class jar and let it cool.

Jam will come thicker when it cools. Keep in fridge.

Yammy jammy jam jam!!

Gingerbread cookies – Finnish Piparkakku

Aaah, a class of cold milk and cookies to dip in it.

Its again the time of the year when families are getting ready for festive season. Every year my mother made first gingerbread cookies at the time of Finnish Independence Day on 6th of December. We kids ate the dough already, so finally maybe three quarter of batch was actually baked. Mama tried to protect the cookie jar as much as she could, but there was need to replenish it couple of time before Christmas time.

We had naked cookies, no fancy sugar coating, just pure gingerbread. I am making these cookies hardly ever nowadays and not least because there is plenty of supply in supermarkets, at least in Finland. Here in Dubai best ones are Anna’s Pepparkakor in Ikea food section, packed in nice round tin box. They are crispy and thin and without decoration, just the way I like it.

I got inspiration to bake these cookies, because I wanted to make some festive desserts having some gingerbread crumbs on it. Did not want to drive to Ikea….

Gingerbread cookies – Finnish Piparkakku

150 g soft brown sugar or normal sugar
250 g sugar molasses or sugar syrup
½ – 1 ts ginger powder
3 ts cinnamon powder
½ ts cloves powder
½ – 1 ts cardamon powder
150 g butter
1 egg
2 ts baking soda
500 – 600 g flour

1. Mix sugar syrup, brown soft sugar and spices in pan and heat until boiling.
2. Shift flour and soda very well together and put aside.
3. Put butter in mixing bowl and pour hot sugar mixture over. Mix until butter is melted.
4. Add one egg to sugar mixture, and after mixture is bit cooled, add flour and soda mixing well, do not knead the dough.
5. Let the dough rest in fridge over night. (Flavor of spices will enhance)
6. Roll the dough on floured table top and use any kind of cookie cutter you prefer.
7. Place cookies on baking tray and bake about 8 minutes in 200-225°C oven.

Happy Holidays!

Cottage Cheese pancake – Russian Syrniki

In Finland Thursday is “pancake and pea soup” -day. While my friend remind me last week about pancake day, I got inspiration to try something called syrniki, from my neighbor country Russia, after Salme said that Russian pancakes beat the normal ones. The recipe asks for quark, but I have not found it in supermarkets here in Dubai. Instead I am using cottage cheese, the creamier the better.

In Russian cuisine syrnikis (сы́рник[и]) are fried quark cheese pancakes eaten with sour cream, jam, honey, or apple sauce. They are also known as tvorozhniki (творо́жники) in Russia. It is a traditional Russian dessert or breakfast food and there are so many variations of it. I like this simple recipe for my perfect protein filled breakfast, it is healthy too. Use low fat cottage cheese and garnish with fresh berries.

Russian Syrniki recipe


1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons semolina flour (optional)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup canola oil for frying


1. Mix together the cottage cheese, beaten eggs and sugar. Stir in semolina and all-purpose flour, and work into soft dough. If you do not have semolina, use 2 tbs of flour instead.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Spoon pancake dough on to the pan and fry the syrniki in hot oil until golden brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Serve with dollop of cream, sour cream or crème fraiche and fruit jam or preserve or fresh fruits.

* * *

I could not resist of having them with my mom’s homemade raspberry preserve and spoonful of organic crème fraiche. What more to ask, oh a nice cup of tea of course. Delish!

‘How to’ link