Sparkling Cranberry Centerpiece

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Sparkling Cranberry Centerpiece
What's your Take?

Invite people to try one between courses, as a "palate cleanser," and you will seem very fancy indeed, even without the muscat sorbet served in silver bowls between the pate course and the chestnut foam course.

What you'll need

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • The peel from half a scrubbed orange, in large strips (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 12-ounce bag cranberries, washed, picked through, and drained
Helpful Tip:

Start these the night before. Also, give yourself some extra time to clean up the sugar when it's all over.

How to make it

  1. Bring the 2 cups of sugar, the water, cloves, and orange peel just to a simmer in a small pot, stirring, then cool it for a minute before pouring it over the cranberries, which you've put into a bowl. Cool briefly, then cover the bowl and refrigerate the cranberries overnight.

  2. The next morning, assemble what you'll need to sugar the berries: a sieve, another bowl, a rimmed baking sheet, and the coarse sugar.

  3. Drain the berries and rinse them. Put them back in the bowl.

  4. Scoop some of the berries (you'll probably do this about six times) into the empty bowl with a large spoonful of sugar and toss them together.

  5. Add more sugar and now spread the berries onto a baking sheet. Leave the berries to dry for 2 hours or longer.

  6. Sprinkle regular granulated sugar over the berries and roll them around on the sheet. Be sure they're completely coated with sugar.

    Now, pour them into a serving vehicle that will show off their sparkling prettiness.

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