Archive for the ‘Cranberries’ Category

Cranberry Chipotle Brie

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

baked brieweb

This recipe is barely a recipe since it uses prebought or premade ingredients. But it gives me a good opportunity to wish you all a happy new year … and to share a couple of holiday photos.

Both Truffle

Truffxmas

and Ruby

Rubyxmas

had a lovely holiday season. Miss Ruby in particular was taken with our small but sturdy Christmas tree since she hadn’t seen one before. Luckily, the tree was in my sunroom (separated from the rest of the apartment by a handy door) so she didn’t manage to dismantle it.

Leigh and David, my sister-in-law and brother, invited me to a New Year’s Eve party. I decided to try to replicate a baked brie with cranberries I had purchased earlier in the season at Whole Foods Market. I mixed up the flavors a bit by using my cranberry-chipotle sauce for the filling, adding a little zing to the rich brie.

Leigh and my nephew Michael helped me cut the puff pastry for the brie, and we baked it at their house so it would be warm for the guests.

Now that the new year has struck, of course, I’ll be eating more healthily. So I have a feeling that combining sugar and carbs and fat as I did here will be rare.

Still, the brie makes a lovely memory.

Happy 2012 to all……

Here Leigh puts the egg wash on the wrapped brie.

Here Leigh puts the egg wash on the wrapped brie.

 

 

Baked Brie en Croûte with Cranberry Chipotle Sauce

 

Ingredients:

1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water
1 thawed puff pastry sheet (I used Pepperidge Farm; feel free to make your own if you like, but that is beyond my skill set!)
1 8-ounce round of brie (keep the rind!)
1/4 cup cranberry chipotle sauce, plus additional sauce for serving

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water.

On a floured board roll the puff pastry sheet out until there is enough of it to wrap around the brie. Cut off the corners to make assembly easier. Use the corners to make small decorative pieces of pastry to lay on top of our brie. (We used snowflakes)

Slice the brie in half horizontally. Lay the first round half on the puff pastry, rind-side down.

Spread the 1/4 cup of sauce on the cheese. Top with the other half of the cheese, rind side up.

Wrap the pastry around the cheese, sealing the creases with the egg wash.

Turn the cheese over. Lay the decorative pastry on top, and brush the whole thing with egg wash.

Place the cheese, seam side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Bake the brie until it turns golden brown (about 15 to 20 minutes). Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serve on crackers and/or fruit with additional chipotle sauce in a side dish. Serve 6 generously.

snowflakeweb

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Some days it’s hard for a chanteuse not to quote  musical comedies. I was reminded recently of a line from The Sound of Music to the effect that when God closes a door he opens a window.

Here’s what happened: I became annoyed with myself a couple of weeks ago. I had been eyeing my neighbor Dennis’s patch of rhubarb with an eye to making rhubarb-apple crisp. (Dennis is always very nice about my incursions into his rhubarb.)

Unfortunately, I waited a little too long to harvest the rhubarb. When I lifted up the rhubarb leaves, I found that the stalks had finally given up the ghost and become soggy. The rhubarb door was closed for this year.

And then … I went to the grocery store and saw my window: the first cranberries of the season! So I decided to pair them with the apples instead of rhubarb. Personally, I think this is an even better combination than the rhubarb-apple one. The color is deep and appealing, thanks to the cranberries. And the apples tone down the cranberries ever so slightly; the crisp is tart but not too tart. The cranberries still dominate since three cups of them are denser than three cups of apples.

Of course, I imagine God has better things to do than entertain me with fruit. But I’m thanking him/her/it anyway, just in case. Come to think of it, this would make a lovely dessert for Thanksgiving Day……

Ruby had never encountered cranberries before.

The Crisp

Ingredients:

3 cups (12 ounces) cranberries
3 cups sliced apples (core but don’t bother to peel unless you’re fussy—use a fairly sturdy apple; I used Baldwins)
3/4 cup white sugar plus 1/2 cup later
2 pinches salt
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oats (regular, not steel cut or quick)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl toss together the cranberries, the apples, 3/4 cup sugar, the first pinch of salt, and the lemon juice. Spread them in the bottom of a 1-1/2- or 2-quart baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the flour, the remaining white sugar, the brown sugar, the oats, the cinnamon, and the second pinch of salt. Cut or rub in the butter until you have coarse crumbs. My preference is rubbing it in since I’m a tactile cook. Gently spread this combination over the fruit mixture. (It will be a little messy!)

Bake the crisp until it is brown and bubbly, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with the topping of your choice—cream, whipped cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Serves 6.

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Cranberry Delight

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Things have been very busy in our household, not entirely in a good way. My mother (who appears with me on the masthead of this blog) passed away just after a week ago, followed by the cat. Both were very old, and both died very peacefully. Nevertheless, the house is startlingly quiet, and I have a bit too much to do.

Consequently I am DEFINITELY in the mood for a little Christmas cheer … and this recipe fits the bill. I love cranberries. The idea for making ice cream with them came to me in a dream. I need more dreams like this one!

My family tried the recipe over Thanksgiving, not on Thanksgiving Day (because my relatives are fixated on pie on Thanksgiving) but later in the weekend.

My nephew Michael was not at all sure he really wanted to churn ice cream, but we had no choice. My electric ice-cream maker was missing a critical part so we got out the old hand cranker.

It took a while … but even Michael decided that the result was more than worthwhile. I do not exaggerate when I say that moans filled the room as we ate.

In fact, this is one of the last treats my mother enjoyed.

Feel free to experiment with the recipe. I almost added a little orange rind to the mixture. I’m not sure the ice cream could taste any better than it did, however.

Merry Christmas to all!

Cranberry Swirl Ice Cream

Ingredients:

for the ice cream:

1-1/2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
2/3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pinch salt

for the cranberry swirl:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
12 ounces cranberries

Instructions:

First, make your ice-cream base. Heat the milk until it is steamy but not boiling. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and light yellow (about 4 minutes).

Whisk a bit of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Then whisk more, up to about 1/2 or 3/4 cup. Whisk the milky egg yolks into the remaining milk.

Cook over medium heat until the custard begins to thicken but does not boil (about 2 to 3 minutes on my gas stove!).

Remove the custard from the heat, and strain it into a heatproof bowl or pot. Cool thoroughly.

As it starts to cool make the cranberry sauce. (It’s basically jellied cranberry sauce, but avoid using the canned stuff if possible.)

In a medium saucepan combine the water and sugar and bring them to a boil. Add the cranberries, and return the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, and boil the sauce for 10 more minutes. (If it gets too fuzzy, add a tiny bit of butter.)

Remove the sauce from the heat, and push it through a stainless-steel strainer. You’ll end up with about 1-1/2 cups of sauce and a small amount of solid matter; you may discard the latter.

Cool the sauce, covered, at room temperature; then refrigerate it until you are ready to make the ice cream.

When that time comes, use a mixer or whisk to break up the jellied cranberry sauce into a thick liquid (instead of a solid). Measure out 1 cup. You may reserve the rest to put on top of your ice cream if you want extra cranberry flavor.

Go back to your ice-cream base and whisk in the cream, vanilla, and salt. Place this mixture in your ice-cream freezer and begin the churning process.

When the ice cream looks about ready, add the cup of cranberry sauce and continue churning just until you have a pleasing swirled effect. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes a little more than a quart of ice cream.

By the way, if you find yourself in need of my Pudding Hollow Cookbook to give as a Christmas gift (or to use yourself over Christmas), never fear: copies are DEFINITELY available. If you order by Wednesday noon and live in the continental U.S., the book should arrive by December 24. To order, click here.

Cranberry Key-Lime Squares

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
 
Just in the nick of time here is my November recipe for my Twelve Cookies of Christmas series!
 
It combines two of my favorite flavors, cranberries and key lime. If you’re not a fan of tart foods, you may skip the cranberries and just make key-lime bars. The cranberries lend lovely holiday color and flavor, however.
 
One could also counteract the tartness by adding a tad more sugar. I like my bars tart, however. And I did put LOTS of confectioner’s sugar on top of the bars; they looked a bit like the ground after a dusting of snow.  (The cranberries represent our hardy New England rocks!)

Until December……

 
 
Ingredients:
 
for the crust:
 
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon sat
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
 
for the middle:
 
1/2 to 2/3 cup cranberries
 
for the filling and top:
 
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons key-lime juice
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons flour
confectioner’s sugar as needed for dusting
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square pan.
 
First, prepare the butter crust. In a small bowl combine the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter.
 
Press this mixture (it will be crumbly!) into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
 
Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Press the cranberries into the crust (they may or may not press down effectively; if they float up, they will be just fine!).
 
Move on to the key-lime filling. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and key-lime juice until they are thoroughly combined. Whisk in the milk, followed by the flour.
 
Pour the filling over the crust and cranberries, and return the pan to the oven. Bake until the filling sets and the edges are just a little brown. In my oven this took about 45 minutes.
 
Allow the bars to cool in their pan; then cut them into squares. 

Makes 16 squares.


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Cranini

Friday, November 26th, 2010

 
My quest to use cranberries goes on.
 
This post uses items many of us have in the house on this day after Thanksgiving—turkey and cranberry sauce. (I also have a tuna variation for those who are sick of turkey but still want to use cranberry sauce!)
 
Lately, my mother will only eat warm sandwiches. So we have been making lots of panini. We don’t have a panini press, but my brother’s George Foreman grill works just fine. In a pinch I have even used two cast iron pans, one under the sandwich and one pressing down on top.
 
It took my cranberry-obsessed brain only seconds to come up with the concept of CRANini.
 
Variations on these themes are up to you. My nephew Michael wasn’t crazy about the idea of cranberry-chipotle mayonnaise so he made a turkey sandwich with turkey, cranberry sauce, and Swiss cheese. He didn’t bother with any mayonnaise at all, using the cheese and the cranberry sauce to bind his sandwich.
 
Anyway, here are my two variations. The turkeyberry sandwich takes a little forethought since the cranberry-chipotle mayo tastes best made in advance. 

By the way, readers who love to bake may want to take advantage of King Arthur Flour’s Black Friday sale to stock up on baking essentials. The sale ends today, but it’s worth a look. (No, King Arthur Flour didn’t pay me to tell you this; I just happen to love its products!)

 
If you’re interested, click on the image above. 

Happy shopping—and eating……. 

Cranberry-Chipotle Mayonnaise is VERY pink!

 
The Cranini
 
I. Turkeyberry Panini
 
Ingredients:
 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped (less if you don’t like spice)
1 pinch salt
two pieces of bread (we used soft French bread)
sliced turkey
the cheese of your choice (we used Swiss)
 
Instructions:
 
First, prepare the cranberry-chipotle mayonnaise. In a bowl stir together the mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, chipotle pieces, and salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
 
Put a small amount of the prepared mayonnaise on each side of the bread. On one side of the bread, cover the mayo with turkey and then the cheese.
 
Pop on the other piece of bread and press the sandwich together while cooking. Serves 1 spicily. (You will have leftover mayonnaise for several more sandwiches!)
 
II. Tunaberry Panini
 
Ingredients:
 
two pieces of bread (we used soft French bread)
a small amount of mayonnaise for binding
a simple tuna salad (tuna, as little mayonnaise as you can get away with, finely chopped celery, lemon juice, salt, and pepper)
whole-berry cranberry sauce
the cheese of your choice (we used cheddar)
 
Instructions:
 
Put a small amount of mayonnaise on one side of the bread, and spread tuna salad on top. Cover with a little cranberry sauce (too much will spread all over your pan while cooking), the cheese, and the other piece of bread. 

Press the sandwich together while cooking. Serves 1 happily.


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