Tag Archives: cranberry

Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Apple Cider Cranberry SauceMy mother makes the best cranberry sauce in the world, but that’s not the recipe I’m sharing today.* Sorry to disappoint.

*Just kidding! I wrote her original recipe in the notes at the end. It’s a Thanksgiving two-fer 🙂 Apple Cider Cranberry SauceI have a good reason for holding out on you. My mom’s cranberry sauce is made with a large amount of brandy, which gets cooked off over the course of an hour in the oven. As I have mentioned previously though, I cannot safely consume alcohol, and therefore do not keep it around, even for cooking.

Since I quit drinking five and a half years ago, cranberry sauce is one of the only dishes that I have really missed. I’ve found work-arounds or substitutes for all sorts of other recipes, but I just couldn’t find one that hit all the same buttons as my mom’s.Apple Cider Cranberry SauceIn case you’re wondering, those buttons include:

  • It’s gotta be whole berry. No weird can-shaped cranberry jello here.
  • It can’t have more than three ingredients. I’ve had cranberry sauces with nuts and spices and other fruits and all sorts of other silliness, and all of it was completely unnecessary.
  • It shouldn’t have any citrus. Orange and cranberry are complementary flavors, but I can’t stand them together in cranberry sauce. This is more of a personal preference than anything, but I mean, this is my personal food blog.
  • It can’t be too sweet. I hate when cranberries are so over-sweetened that their natural tartness is completely masked.
  • It has to be easy. Like ridiculously easy. So low-maintenance, it’s silly. And if it can be made more than a day ahead, that’s ideal.
  • If nothing else, it must be so delicious that I want to eat it every time I spot the jar in the fridge.

Apple Cider Cranberry SauceApple Cider Cranberry SauceIt’s taken a few years and many sauces with unrecognizable berries, too much sugar, flavors I didn’t care for, and a lot of feeling sorry for myself, but I’ve finally made a cranberry sauce that hits all those buttons. And the missing ingredient was looking at me the whole time in the form of a seasonal fridge staple: apple cider. It has flavor, but not enough to overwhelm the cranberries, and it’s sweet without being saccharine. Perfection.Apple Cider Cranberry SauceApple Cider Cranberry SauceThis sauce comes together over the course of an hour in the oven. It gets stirred twice, but needs no help otherwise.Apple Cider Cranberry SauceThe result is soft, bursting berries that slump into a sweet, sticky sauce. It’s just divine. As is the fact that it can be made today and nuked in the microwave just before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, it’s probably even better that way. Love that.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Want more cranberries? See here and here. For more apple cider, see here and here.

Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce*
makes about 3 cups

2 12-ounce bags whole cranberries
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients in a 9×13-inch casserole dish and stir together. Bake 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.

Remove sauce from oven. Cool for a few minutes before transferring to a serving dish. Serve.

Cranberry sauce may be made up to two days in advance; it reheats well in the microwave.

Note:

If you want to try my mom’s cranberry sauce, swap the cider for brandy and double the sugar. Everything else is the same.
Apple Cider Cranberry SauceApple Cider Cranberry SauceApple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Advertisements

Pear & Cranberry Torte

Updated 11/15/2018 to add better photos.Pear & Cranberry TorteEverybody has their holiday mainstay dish. For some it’s tamales, for others, a glazed ham. For me, it’s this Pear & Cranberry Torte. I found the recipe for a simple cranberry version years ago when I was just learning to bake, and I’ve made it ever since. I made it as written many times, but as I gained more knowledge and confidence in my baking, I made a few adjustments and have had it in my holiday repertoire ever since.Pear & Cranberry TorteWhat’s the difference between a torte and a cake? Besides just sounding fancier than regular cake, tortes are made with minimal to no flour, relying on eggs, sugar, and sometimes leaveners to give them structure. I’ve put one other torte recipe on here, my grain-free version of Molly Wizenberg’s Winning Hearts & Minds Cake. If you or your guests are way into chocolate (or gluten-free!), throw that recipe on your menu.
Pear & Cranberry TorteBut back to today’s torte. It’s a buttery, light vanilla-almond cake full of soft pieces of pear and tart whole cranberries–it definitely tastes like the holidays. Where a lot of holiday desserts are time consuming and require ingredients you don’t use for the other 11 months of the year, this one is simple. With the exception of the pear and the cranberries, you probably have all the ingredients in your home right now.

The cake base comes together in minutes. Cream some butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Beat in a couple of eggs, some vanilla, and a hint of almond extract. Mix in a mixture of flour, baking powder, and salt before spreading the batter into a buttered springform pan. That’s it! Then just dot the top with chunks of pear (you’ll want to use one that’s ripe but not mushy) and scatter on some cranberries. Dust it all with a tablespoon of sugar before baking for 40 minutes or so.Pear & Cranberry TorteOnce baked, Pear & Cranberry Torte has a very rustic appearance. The pieces of pear will buckle into the batter while the cranberries dot the golden brown top crust. The torte may be served warm or at room temperature, and is just as good with whipped cream or a dusting of confectioner’s sugar as it is by its lonesome.

I hope this Pear & Cranberry Torte becomes a holiday mainstay for you. The buttery vanilla-almond cake and seasonal fruit are a delightful end to any holiday meal. And if you’re the kind of person who gives cakes as gifts, this torte is easy to pack and your friends will love it.Pear & Cranberry Torte

Pear & Cranberry Torte
adapted from Lottie & Doof
one 9-inch cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon, for sprinkling
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 medium pear, cored, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced (about 1 cup cubes)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until very light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in granulated and light brown sugars. Mix in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. With the mixer on low, mix in dry ingredients. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter into the prepared pan. Scatter pear pieces and cranberries over the top and lightly press them into the batter. Sprinkle additional tablespoon of granulated sugar over the top. Bake 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes before running a small, thin knife around the edge and releasing the springform.

Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.
Pear & Cranberry TortePear & Cranberry Torte

Cranberry Crumb Pie

Cranberry Crumb PieWhat a week. I had planned to post this recipe on Wednesday, but when I got home from catering an election party on Tuesday night, I knew I wasn’t going to get any work done until I knew who would become President-Elect. Since then, our country’s citizens have been more deeply divided than ever before (and we were already pretty divided). It’s tough to be an American this week. Regardless, we need to come together for change and for the future. I suggest we start with pie.

Cranberry Crumb PieCranberry Crumb PieWhen I first came to New York nine years ago, I had a friend who loved pie. I mean LOVED it. At the time, I had never eaten a slice of pie that I considered revolutionary, so I asked him: why is pie so great? What he said has stuck with me since. Every time I make pie, I think of his words. He said that pie is a communal food; it brings people together. Pie is designed to be shared. While one certainly can eat a whole pie by their lonesome, it’s much more enjoyable to share it. I think the same goes for our nation.

In a couple of weeks, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends. Of course, just because you share DNA or a last name with someone doesn’t mean you have the same beliefs. There are some of us who dread these family holidays for fear of awkward political talk over turkey. I love my family, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some of these fears, too. And while there’s little anyone can do to change someone else’s beliefs over the course of one holiday, there is one thing we can all enjoy together: Cranberry Crumb Pie.

Cranberry Crumb PieThis pie has it all. Orange-scented cranberries layered with sweet, buttery cinnamon crumbs in my favorite Cream Cheese Pie Crust. If you love cranberries and the crumb on top of coffee cakes, this is the pie for you! Some don’t particularly care for the tartness of fresh cranberries, but here they are sweetened with sugar and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg before being tossed with the zest and juice of an orange. They are still tart, to be sure, but the combination of sugar, spices, and citrus mellows them enough to be enjoyed on their own.

Cranberry Crumb PieThe crumb is an old stand-by for American bakers. Cold butter is cut into a combination of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until evenly combined. Some prefer to make large amounts of crumb with their mixer, but I encourage you to do this with your hands. Sure, it takes a few more minutes, but it will keep the crumbs from all being the same size, giving your pie a little textural diversity. The cranberries and crumb are layered before being baked–there will be two layers of each. As the pie bakes, the cranberries burst and bubble around the crumb, spreading the buttery cinnamon flavor a bit, but also allowing those crumbs the get crisp-crunchy and super delicious. Soft, juicy cranberries and sweet, crispy crumbs? Yes, please!

Now, go forth and start to heal your community. Make a pie and have friends over (make one of them bring the vanilla ice cream). Be good to each other.

Cranberry Crumb PieCranberry Crumb PieLooking for more pie? You’ve come to the right blog! Check out this Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie, this light & fluffy Pumpkin Pie, this Cranberry Apple Pie, this Salted Butterscotch Pie, and this Maple Pecan Pie. One more pie recipe is coming your way next week!

Cranberry Crumb Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Crumb:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Pie:
1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
4 cups (about 15-16 ounces) fresh whole cranberries, rinsed and picked over
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
juice and zest of one medium orange
milk or cream, for brushing
vanilla ice cream, for serving

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in vanilla. Add butter. Use your hands (or a pastry blender) to work butter into dry ingredients until a clumpy but homogenous mixture forms. Set aside.

Roll out the pie crust to 12-inch diameter. Fit it in a pie pan, trim the excess to 1/2-inch, and crimp as desired. Chill 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place racks in the top and bottom positions.

Place cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, salt, and orange juice and zest.

Place chilled pie crust on a baking sheet. Pour half the cranberries into the pie crust and top with half the crumb, breaking it up with your fingers as you go. Top with the remaining cranberries. Brush exposed pie crust with milk. Place pie (on baking sheet) on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake 25 minutes.

Remove pie from oven and top with remaining crumb. Bake on the top rack for 25 minutes, tenting with foil (or using a pie protector) if anything gets too dark.

Let pie cool on a rack at least 4 hours, until room temperature. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Cranberry Crumb Pie

Whole Grain Cranberry-Orange Snack Bars

 
I spend my life rushing. Rushing to bake, rushing to nanny, rushing to deliver cakes. Like this week–I have had four separate celebration cake orders. It wouldn’t be much for a bakery, but I am just one woman with one small oven and the world’s tiniest fridge. So, I rush. And I don’t remember to eat. I am asked often how I maintain a healthy weight with all the baking, and the answer is that I don’t actually eat much of it. No, I don’t have great self-control. After three years of near-constant baking, I just see cake and pie and cookies as projects most of the time. I taste-test, to be sure, and I have had cookies for dinner more than a few times, but for the most part, when I bake something it’s either picked at for several days or given away.

All that said, I am often so scattered that I forget to eat until I am halfway to wherever I’m going. Most of the time, I stop into the nearest corner store to get Cheez-Its and a Diet Coke. It keeps me from passing out, but it’s not a healthy or sustainable way to eat. 

I’ve been making a few changes to my diet this month, as evidenced by all the whole grain and grain-free recipes I’ve been posting. Today is the final post of this healthier January, and so I am posting what has become my Cheez-Its alternative: Whole Grain Cranberry-Orange Snack Bars. They’re like a cross between blondies, muffins, and granola bars, made with whole wheat flour and oats, dotted with dried cranberries, and scented with orange zest. They’re soft, chewy, and not too sweet, with a flavor that is wholesome and delicious. They’re great for on-the-go, a sweet treat in school lunches, and after-school snacks. They also make a fantastic dessert with a little vanilla ice cream. 

 

Whole Grain Cranberry-Orange Snack Bars are quick and easy to put together. They start with creaming softened unsalted butter and orange sugar until it’s all light and fluffy. Orange sugar is easy to make–just add the zest of an orange to some brown sugar, and rub it together with your fingers like you would if you were trying to remove dried school glue. This brings out the oils in the orange zest and starts to melt the brown sugar. Once the butter and brown sugar are combined, beat in an egg, followed by some vanilla.
 Beat in a mixture of white whole wheat flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt, followed by a cup of old-fashioned oats. All that’s left to add are some dried cranberries that have been plumped in hot water. This little act of soaking the dried fruit ensures that the pieces are more juicy than waxy. Spread the batter into a parchment-lined pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until the bars are just done. Let them cool to room temperature and then hang out in the fridge for an hour or so. Refrigerating the bars helps them to slice cleanly.

These bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or wrapped individually in plastic wrap so they’re easy to grab as you’re running out the door! Make a batch of Whole Grain Cranberry-Orange Snack Bars this weekend so you can enjoy them all week long 😊 

 Whole Grain Cranberry-Orange Snack Bars
makes one 8×8″ pan, about 16 bars

6 tablespoons water
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour*
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and line it with parchment. Grease parchment. Set aside.

Heat water to a simmer, and pour it into a small bowl. Stir in dried cranberries. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, rub orange zest into light brown sugar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, together white whole wheat flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until it’s fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in light brown sugar mixture, followed by the egg and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until completely combined. Beat in oats.

Drain dried cranberries and fold them into the batter. Spread batter into prepared pan. Tap the full pan on the counter five times to release any air bubbles. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack before refrigerating for at least one hour. Slice into bars.

Bars will keep covered at room temperature for up to one week.


Note:

Regular whole wheat flour may be substituted for white whole wheat flour.

White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies

 Hello from Austin! I am down here celebrating Christmas with my family at my older sister’s house. So far, I have gotten to play with my cute nephew-by-best-friend, do all the holiday food shopping at my beloved Central Market, sleep for nine hours straight (!), and have a very loud and raucous family caroling session in my Mom’s Acura.

Oh, and there have been puppies in costumes.  
But there have also been cookies. When my sisters, sister-in-law, and I went out for dinner last night, they all asked what was up next for the blog. After eleven holiday cookie recipes and not enough sleep, I said I needed some ideas for the twelfth recipe of Twelve Days of Cookies. My little sister, Eliot, brilliant woman that she is, suggested that I use cranberries and pistachios because a) they are delicious, and b) Christmas colors. She didn’t suggest the white chocolate because she likes to pretend it doesn’t exist (direct quote: “White chocolate is a lie and I refuse to acknowledge it!”) 😊 

White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies are simple to throw together, festive, and absolutely delicious. The cookie dough is very straightforward. Beat butter until it’s fluffy. Add in a cup of granulated sugar, followed by half-cup of light brown sugar. Now, 1 1/2 cups of sugar is a lot for the amount of flour in the recipe, but it makes for a super chewy final product. These cookies are a little on the thin side, but between the texture of the cranberries and the cookie itself, you’ll be in heaven. Next up are an egg and a yolk, followed by two teaspoons of vanilla for flavor. Beat in a mixture of flour, cornstarch, baking powder and soda, and salt. Fold in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pistachios. Cover the dough and chill it for two hours. This will allow the butter to solidify, and prevent the cookies from over-spreading. The chill is mandatory. I suggest you take the two hours to have your own raucous caroling session. 

Once the dough is nice and cold, scoop it by the tablespoon and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350F. I decorated the tops with additional white chocolate chips, but this is purely for aesthetics and totally optional. Between the chewy cookie base and cranberries, crunchy pistachios, and melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate chips, these cookies need no adornments. And with the Christmas-colored mix-ins, White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies are perfect for your holiday entertaining. 

 This recipe concludes the Twelve Days of Cookies! Whew! If you need holiday cookie recipes, you’ve come to the right corner of the Internet. This month, I’ve posted recipes for Red Velvet Peppermintdoodles, Eggnog Sandwich Cookies, Whipped Shortbread Snowballs, Apple Cider Snaps, Oreo-Stuffed Andes Peppermint Crunch Cookies, Peppermint Mocha Cookies, Salted Caramel Chocolate-Covered Pecan Cookies, Chocolate Crinkles {Gluten Free}, M&Ms Potato Chip Cookies, Gingerbread Men with Chocolate Buttons, and Funfetti Sandwich Cookies. Let me know if you try any of these recipes this holiday season! I am on Instagram and Twitter @e2bakesbrooklyn. Use the hashtag #e2bakes so I can see all your wonderful cookies 😊

Merry Christmas!

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
makes about 3.5 dozen cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat butter until it is fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in sugars, followed by egg and egg yolk, and then vanilla. Add flour mixture in two installments, combining completely. Fold in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pistachios. Cover dough and chill at least two hours, or up to three days.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two sheet pans with parchment.

Scoop dough by the tablespoon, and roll into balls. Place at least two inches apart on prepared pans. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, until they are starting to turn golden brown. Let them cool on the pans 5-7 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Cookies keep well covered at room temperature for up to a week.

White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies