12/17/2012 10:42 EST | Updated 02/16/2013 05:12 EST

Mini apple and cranberry desserts elegant and refreshing for holiday brunch

This is a refreshing and easy make-ahead dessert for a holiday brunch. Place the desserts on a silver platter for an elegant presentation. When using frozen cranberries, thaw before adding to mixture.

Mini Apple and Cranberry Desserts

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

4 apples, such as Cortland, Crispin or Empire, cored and sliced, about 1 l (4 cups)

50 ml (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) water

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick

10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla


375 ml (1 1/2 cups) cranberries, rinsed

1 container (475 g) mascarpone cheese

125 ml (1/2 cup) liquid honey

15 ml (1 tbsp) minced lemon rind

30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt


Fresh mint leaves

In a saucepan, combine apples, sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until apples are soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Stir in vanilla. Let cool slightly.

Cream: Transfer apple mixture to a food processor; pulse until smooth. Add cranberries, mascarpone cheese, honey, lemon rind, lemon juice and salt; pulse until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Spoon 50 ml (1/4 cup) each into each dish. Garnish with fresh mint leaf.

Makes 20 servings (50 ml/1/4 cup each).

Nutrition information per 50-ml (1/4-cup) serving: 158 calories; 9 g fat; 17 g carbohydrate; 1 g fibre; 3 g protein.

Source: Foodland Ontario.