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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The sweet side of cranberries

It's Wednesday! How's your week? Have you taken the time to donate to one of the links I posted on Monday? If not, please do. I promise it only takes 5 minutes max, and you're helping people who not only lost their homes, but are now dealing with a horrible snow storm (trust me, it's not pretty out right now!). Thanks for keeping them in your hearts!

Onto today's post...the beloved Thanksgiving/fall treat - the CRANBERRY! I love these little ruby jewels, deliciously tart yet a sweet addition to any dessert! Today I'm giving you two recipes that include cranberries, balancing both sweet and tart elegantly and adding a sophisticated touch to the end of your meal. Bonus: they're not that difficult. Give 'em a try...enjoy!

Cranberry and Apple Cake
Ina Garten, 2010

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.
  4. Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie
Florence Fabricant, November 19, 1989

  • Pastry for one crust, nine-inch pie
  • 4 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Cortland, peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a nine-inch pie pan with the pastry, line the pastry with a sheet of foil and weight it with pastry weights or dry beans. Bake for about eight minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and bake another five minutes or so, until the pastry begins to color.
  2. Combine the apple pieces and the cranberries in a bowl. Add one-fourth cup of the oat bran, two-thirds cup of the sugar and one-half teaspoon of the cinnamon and toss. Dot with two tablespoons of the butter and toss again. Spread in the prepared pie pan.
  3. Combine the remaining oat bran, sugar, pecans and cinnamon and mash in remaining four tablespoons of butter with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the fruit.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top has browned and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool until just warm, then serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side.
Happy baking!

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