Tag Archives: Cranberries

Foie Gras and Cranberry Sauce Doughnuts

Foie Gras and Cranberry Sauce Doughnuts

Hot damn, last week was a WEEK for me! Yeesh. I’d had all these big blog plans, things like sharing a few more Thanksgiving-appropriate desserts and whatnot, but life just blew up in my face instead. I’ll fill in details tomorrow, because today is about fulfilling promises – specifically a promise regarding Thanksgiving leftovers, in the form of cranberry sauce.

Foie Gras and Cranberry Sauce Doughnuts

I will dare to say that this may be the most insane and awesome way to use up your leftover cranberry sauce. Yes, you will stuff it into a homemade doughnut; but only after you’ve piped a homemade foie gras mousse into said doughnut. !!! What’d I tell ya?

Foie Gras and Cranberry Sauce Doughnuts

This recipe is really incredible. First off, it’s a fantastic basic old-fashioned doughnut template you need in your baking repertoire. Secondly, creative and unique are total understatements and don’t suffice as adequate descriptions, but they might have to do. The proper words might not yet exist in the English language (sadly the only language I completely know). You have to take at least two bites to get the whole experience here. The first bite hits you with warm, pillowy doughnut texture and the tart bite and jelly-like texture of the cranberry sauce. The second bite mixes the sweet-tart cranberry sauce with the really savory/salty foie gras, which has a wonderful contrasting texture from the doughnut itself: very soft and thick and velvety against the chewy breadiness.

foie gras mousse and cranberry sauce

foie gras mousse and leftover cranberry sauce

All in all, I gotta say this is simply THE best vehicle for transforming your old cranberry sauce from last week. Amazing!

Foie Gras and Cranberry Sauce Doughnuts

Source: slightly adapted from The Laws of Cooking: And How To Break Them by Justin Warner


4 oz. foie gras grade B, roughly chopped
About 7 seedless green grapes
1 small shallot, diced
½ tbs orange liqueur
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbs heavy cream

½ cup warm water
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
4 tbs unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
¼ cup leftover cranberry sauce, blitzed in a small food processor so it is smooth enough to be piped through a plastic storage baggie, if necessary
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

First make the FOIE GRAS MOUSSE: put the foie gras in a skillet over low heat. Once some fat has rendered and pooled, about 3 minutes, add the grapes and shallots to the skillet. Cook until the shallots soften and the foie gras begins to melt and darken in color, about 5 minutes. Add the orange liqueur and cook 1 minute more.
Carefully pour the hot mixture into your blender and add the salt. With the blender running on a low setting (if possible), slowly pour the heavy cream in and increase the speed to high until combined.
Transfer the mousse to a bowl and store in the refrigerator, uncovered, until cool to the touch. Pour or scrape the mousse into a plastic food storage baggie, or a disposable pastry bag, but do not cut the tip yet. Tie or seal the bag and allow to chill in the refrigerator until completely cooled, at least 1 hour.
Now make the DOUGHNUTS: add the sugar to the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit until the yeast has foamed, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot and let cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Once the yeast has foamed up, add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer bowl and slowly combine with the dough hook. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides. Continue kneading the dough on low, then gradually add the butter, then add the beaten eggs one-half at a time. Once the dough is uniform, turn it out onto a clean, floured work surface and knead just until smooth, about 10 turns. Take care not to over-knead or you will end up with a tough doughnut.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set the bowl on a heating pad set to its lowest setting and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Flip the risen dough out onto a floured surface, knead once, and regrease the bowl. Flip the dough back into the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again on the heating pad until doubled, about 1 hour more.
Fill your deep fryer or a large Dutch oven halfway with the oil. Bring the oil to 350 F. Lightly sprinkle a sheet pan with flour and set aside. Place a cooling rack on another sheet pan and also set aside.
Turn the dough out onto a clean floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, very gently roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 an inch. Cut out circles of the dough with a pint-sized drinking glass or biscuit cutter of about the same size. The recipe instructs not to reroll the scraps, as those doughnuts will be tough. I discarded that dough. Place the circles onto the floured baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 10 minutes.
When the oil is up to temperature, working in batches, drop the doughnuts into the hot oil and fry until risen on one side, about 1 minute. Then flip and cook the other side another minute. Use a spider to remove them from the hot oil, then place them on the cooling rack lined sheet pan. Allow to cool slightly.
Transfer your leftover cranberry sauce to a pastry bag or plastic food storage baggie and snip off the tip.
If your doughnuts are too hot to touch, use a twice-folded paper towel to hold them, and use a chopstick to the side of the doughnut to create a tunnel. Don’t poke all the way through! Cut the tip off the bag with the foie gras mousse and pipe it into the hole until the doughnut feels full and heavy, but not until it overflows. Next, pipe in some of the cranberry sauce, allowing it to dribble out of the doughnut. Set the doughnut back on the rack and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Repeat until done.

Bourbon Mint Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Mint Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce. That classic Thanksgiving staple that I just couldn’t abide as a child. Cranberries were WAY too tart for my little unsophisticated palate back then. But even as I began coming around on cranberries in general (which, to be perfectly candid, began rather unglamorously by drinking Cape Cods in my early twenties), I still eschewed the traditional cranberry sauce because I just didn’t see the point.

Bourbon Mint Cranberry Sauce

bourbon mint cranberry sauce

I mean, you have gravy for the turkey – what’s the purpose behind the cranberry sauce?? A few years ago, I gave in. Now I alternate bites of turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, because let’s face it – cranberry sauce is just really, really delicious.

Bourbon Mint Cranberry Sauce

While I will never turn down good ol’ regular cranberry sauce, if you add bourbon, I’ll love you even more. This stuff was outstanding. Less sweet than usual (though of course feel free to add as much sugar as you like), with a wonderful stiff alcohol-y bite, tempered by the mint flavor. Possibly my favorite cranberry sauce to date, and in another week I will have a VERY special post for you using up the leftovers. I’m so excited to share that one with you!! In the meantime, give this one a go next Thursday. I promise it will be a big hit. Enjoy!

Bourbon Mint Cranberry Sauce

Source: Fine Cooking Magazine, Oct/Nov 2015

1 ½ lbs. fresh cranberries
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, plus more to taste if desired
1/3 cup bourbon
5 big sprigs of fresh mint
Pinch of kosher salt

Put the cranberries, sugar, bourbon, mint, salt, and ½ cup water in a 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and many of the cranberries pop, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if you want and cook until dissolved. Cool to room temperature and remove the mint sprigs.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Return to room temperature before serving.

Cocoa Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cocoa Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

Today is a simple, quick Saturday post, seeing as it’s the Saturday before Christmas and hopefully you aren’t having to brave the shopping malls. But if you are out there braving the holiday madness, you have my condolences and when you get back, there is coffee cake to cheer you up. As there should be.

cocoa streusel topped cranberry coffee cake

This particular cake is easy to prepare, features the lovely, beautiful cranberry – perfect for December – and the streusel topping is very special because it utilizes cocoa powder to give the cake a chocolate-y crunch. A welcome change-up from usual coffee cake streusel!

Cocoa-Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

This cake batter is very thick, which yields such a moist end result. This would be perfect to make the day before or morning your guests are to arrive and keep it around all week for general grazing purposes. It’s such a festive and delicious coffee cake, everyone will love it. Enjoy!

Cocoa Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

{One Year Ago: Cincinnati Chili}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin French Toast}

Source: adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground allspice
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, melted

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, either 2% or full fat, not fat-free
Zest of 1 orange
3 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (I used my food processor for this)

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking pan. Set aside.
First make the streusel topping. Add the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, and allspice in a medium bowl. Use a fork or whisk to stir in the melted butter until well combined. Set aside.
Now make the cake. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and cream together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Now add one third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Add one third of the yogurt and mix on low until fully incorporated. Repeat, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients until all have been added. Add the orange zest and beat quickly to combine.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the cranberries until evenly incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it out to an even layer. Evenly sprinkle the cocoa streusel on top, making sure to get the outer edges too. Bake for 60 minutes, until a metal skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Cranberry Noels

Cranberry Noels 6845

Today is a good, fun day – yep, it’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day! However… this reveal day is extra special, because we did a virtual holiday cookie exchange! When we got our assigned blogs, we all picked a cookie recipe to make and “swap.”

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I was assigned My Hobbie Lobbie, a wonderful blog written by Trisha who lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband. She used to have a corporate career but left that a couple years ago to pursue her passion of baking and crafting.

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Since this is a holiday cookie exchange, I went with these cranberry noels; it seemed like the right thing to do. But I was very tempted to bake up Trisha’s chocolate pistachio biscotti, or possibly her chocolate chocolate chip cookies. These cranberry and pecan (or walnuts!) slice and bake cookies were quite delicious. I did not go wrong here!

Cranberry Noels 6819

These would be welcome at your non-virtual, three-dimensional cookie swap, for sure. I highly recommend. Not too sweet, just sweet enough, with a crisp exterior and a very soft and crumbly, shortbread-y interior. Matt told me to get them out of the house, for fear he would eat them all.

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So I did. I took them to the animal shelter where I volunteer once a week, where they were immensely enjoyed by the people and more than one dog begged for a cookie!

Cranberry Noels 6850

This was such a fun SRC event, I hope we make this an annual thing! And I hope all of you enjoy these delicious cookies!

Cranberry Noels 6867

Source: ever so slightly adapted from My Hobbie Lobbie

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbs milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until just combined. Gradually add the flour, beating after each addition, then turn off the beaters and stir the cranberries and pecans in by hand until fully combined.
Divide the dough into 2 portions and roll each portion into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into about 3/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until edges are golden, about 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Remove from oven, and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie

Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie 6493

Pecan pie is probably one of the first desserts I ever learned how to make. Unless dipping strawberries in whipped cream counts. Likely not.

cranberries 6524

You see, my grandfather, Pawpaw, is probably the world’s biggest pecan pie fiend, so when we weren’t sure what to get him for Christmas, my mom and I would bake him a pecan pie and that would be his Christmas present. More often than not, in my family pecan pie made an appearance at Christmas dinner as well as Thanksgiving.

Cranberry chocolate pecan pie 6485

cranberry chocolate pecan pie 6496

So that probably figures into why I feel completely comfortable sharing a pecan pie with my dear readers even though it’s December and Thanksgiving leftovers are already a thing of the past.

Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie 6514

I’ve shared a very special version of pecan pie in the past here, and this one is quite different enough that I don’t feel redundant. Today we’re adding chocolate (!!!) and fresh cranberries. Because chocolate ALWAYS works, and because I’m firmly in the camp of believing cranberries belong on December menus all month long.

Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie 6505

We always baked Pawpaw a very traditional pecan pie, so I’m not sure how he’d feel about this one. But Matt and I did love it. I’m not gonna lie – it’s rich, as most pecan pies are, and I think the chocolate takes that over the top even more. But the pop of the tart cranberries was welcome to my palate, and I think this is a great pie to bake if you’re looking to shake up tradition a little. I hope you enjoy it!

Cranberry Chocolate Pecan Pie 6507

{One Year Ago: Mint Chocolate Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Pecan Souffled Pancake}

Source: slightly adapted from The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker

Pie dough for 1 (9-inch) pie, chilled
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup bourbon
1 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 oz. good quality dark chocolate, rough chopped
3 large eggs
1 (8 oz.) bag of chopped, toasted pecan pieces

On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out your pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate and transfer the dough to the plate. Crimp the edges decoratively, then chill the pie shell in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.
To make the filling, combine the cranberries, sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cranberries soften and the mixture thickens, 4-6 minutes. Add the butter and chocolate and stir until melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool about 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy and well blended. Very slowly pour in a small amount (about ¼ cup) of the cranberry chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs, whisking continuously. This will temper your eggs so they do not scramble when you add them to the pie filling. After your eggs are tempered, slowly pour them into the cranberry mixture, stirring continuously until combined. Now stir in the pecans.
Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator. Set the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the pie filling into the pie shell, and bake until the filling is just set and slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Cool the pie completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices and serve.

Cranberry Hatch Chile Salsa #SundaySupper

Cranberry Hatch chile salsa 6397

Happy Sunday Supper everyone! We are smoothly transitioning from the season of giving thanks to the season of giving (and receiving, let’s be honest) gifts with our theme this week of Food as Gifts!

You will get lots of wonderful ideas for the family and friends in your life who enjoy a good edible present. Today I’m sharing a cranberry salsa/sauce, which probably prompted you to say or at least think, “Uh, Thanksgiving was last week, Julie. Maybe you need a calendar for Christmas.” I know, I know. But I firmly believe that cranberries should last us until January, and that they are just as comfortable on December holiday tables as they are on the Thanksgiving table.

cranberries 6290

And since this is a gift from me, I had to go all Tex-Mex with it, giving you this wonderful, amazing Tex-Mex-y spin on the usual cranberry sauce. I used Hatch chiles, but you could easily sub in the same amount of jalapenos and it would be delicious. This is a bit spicy, and not nearly as sweet as some cranberry sauces, which I loved. It’s thick and beautiful.

Cranberry Hatch Chile Salsa 6387

You can pass it around at a formal holiday table like you would at Thanksgiving, or I also loved it heated and then poured over a block of cream cheese to be scooped up with crackers. Or honestly, just eat it with tortilla chips in front of the TV. It’s perfectly at home that way! It is also lovely on leftover turkey tacos or enchiladas. I would know. 😉

Cranberry Hatch Chile salsa 6401

If you happen to have someone on your gift-giving list who loves spicy Tex-Mex inspired holiday-appropriate condiments, then you’re covered on what to get them – cross ‘em off the list and pat yourself on the back! Or, give yourself a gift this year. You work hard. You deserve it. Enjoy, everyone!

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{One Year Ago: Apple Cider Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Mole Poblano with Chicken Thighs}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
2 tbs finely grated orange zest
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp ground cumin
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of cayenne
Kosher salt, to taste

In a large pot, stir together the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the poblano and Hatch chiles, pecans, orange zest, cilantro, cumin, ginger, and cayenne. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should keep up to 1 week.



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Indian-Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Indian-Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Continuing the countdown to Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few more Big-Day-Appropriate dishes with you. Although, some of my original plans aren’t going to grace the webpages of this little url. As I’ve been recipe testing Thanksgiving dishes, I’ve had some serious floppers! Some were recipe flops, while some were picture flops, and I think pumpkin pie just hates me this year. But, anyways…

Let’s talk cranberry sauce! To be quite frank, it’s something I never really understood. Growing up, I would never add any to my plate. I just didn’t get it. I mean, is it a side dish? It doesn’t seem substantial enough. Is it a sauce to go over the turkey? Well, I figured not because then why would there be gravy?


I suppose it’s still a bit of a mystery to me, as far as where it comes from and why it’s there, but I freely acknowledge that I was in the minority by not eating any all those years. So here is my answer to the whole, cranberry sauce thing – an Indian spiced, thick and chunky chutney!

Indian spiced cranberry chutney

It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s a twist from the usual ordinary sauce. If you’re scratching your head right now, wondering how this could possibly fit in to your traditional Thanksgiving spread, that’s fine; all I ask is that you read on and allow me to convince you of its merits.

Thanksgiving leftovers panini

First of all, the Indian flavors are not overwhelming, so you really don’t need to make any part of the rest of your meal Indian to have this complement your table. It’s just a hint in the background. Secondly, it’s really thick, so it won’t get all liquid-y and run into your potatoes or green bean casserole. Win! And thirdly, it’s insanely good on leftover sandwiches the next day!

Indian Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Try it. See what you think. Report back. 🙂

Source: adapted from Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet by Padma Lakshmi

4 tbs olive oil
24 oz. fresh cranberries (or thawed if frozen)
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp cayenne
Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp garam masala

In a medium to large nonstick stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cranberries and sauté, stirring intermittently. Once the cranberries have softened and most of them have burst open, about 25 to 30 minutes, add the sugar, cayenne, and salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garam masala. Continue to cook another 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture is a thick, uniform sauce and all the cranberries have completely burst open. You can help them along by using a rubber spatula to press an individual cranberry against the side of the pot until it bursts. It’s like the food equivalent of popping bubble paper!
Keep covered on low until needed, or cool and refrigerate in an airtight container if not using right away.

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

So, Thanksgiving is exactly one week from today. Yikes! I feel like it’s sneaked up on me, but then again, I say that every year, so I suppose I really shouldn’t be surprised. Next year I’ll either 1) be prepared, and have it not sneak up on me; or 2) come up with something more original to say about it sneaking up on me.

cranberry chiffon pie, before assembling

I am quite happily not hosting this year, for the first year in many. Not that I mind hosting at all, in fact I kind of enjoy it, but it is a lot of work and taking a year off is not unwelcome. If you are hosting, check out this post I made last year, drawn from my years of hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other more formal-type dinner parties: it’s my Top 12 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving, many of which can apply just as well to other holidays or hosting events.

cranberry chiffon pie, before chilling

Though I am not hosting, I am bringing dessert to our gathering this year, so I’ve been testing pie recipes lately. This one makes the grade, for sure. Wow. Delicious, and such a lovely twist on all the usual pie culprits, not that I mind those one bit, thank you very much. The cranberry flavor wasn’t too tart at all, something I lightly worried about as I occasionally find cranberries to be a bit puckery for my tastes. The sugary crunch of the garnish cranberries lent a wonderful contrast to the silky smoothness of the pie itself.

cranberry chiffon pie

I would highly recommend this if you’re looking for a change-up to the usual Thanksgiving pie line-up. Or you could save it for Christmas, since cranberries seem to be culturally welcome up until the New Year. Or, you could just make it on a Tuesday because you feel like it and it’s that good.

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Recipe notes: this does require a pre-baked pie crust, and I feel I should apologize, because those can be so frustrating when they shrink on you. My first one didn’t cooperate, and when I pulled it from the oven and realized it wasn’t usable, I did *not* promptly burst into tears because it was already a bad day. No, that was some other girl. I wish I had some better tips for you than just make sure the crust is well chilled, use pie weights, yada yada. I’ve found that making a little bit more pie crust than you’ll need often solves the shrinking problem.

cranberry chiffon pie

Secondly, the original recipe said the pie was ready to eat after chilling for 1 hour in the fridge. It depends on your definition of ready. You could eat it then, but it won’t be completely firm. For best results, chill it overnight. I hope y’all enjoy it!

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Source: adapted from Saveur Magazine, November 2013

2 cups fresh cranberries (or thawed if frozen)
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbs orange liqueur
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp (1 packet) unflavored powdered gelatin
1 large egg, separated
1 large egg white
½ cup milk
A 9” prebaked pie crust, cooled completely

Bring 1 ½ cups cranberries, ½ cup sugar, orange juice, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add the orange liqueur and lemon juice, then puree until smooth. Don’t forget to hold a dish cloth over the top of the blender when you turn it on, as hot contents can blow the lid right off, and then no one’s happy. Once the mixture is smooth, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and chill the cranberry mixture.
Combine the gelatin and 3 tbs ice water in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, minimum. While the gelatin is doing its thing, beat 1/3 cup sugar with the yolk from the whole egg (save the white!) and the milk in a small saucepan. Set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture and the cranberry mixture until completely smooth. I used a whisk.
Transfer the custard to a bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until just beginning to set at the edges, about 30 minutes.
Add the 2 egg whites to a bowl and beat until still peaks form. Stir ¼ of the whites into the chilled custard. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Use a spatula or an offset spatula to smooth out the surface as evenly as possible. Chill, uncovered, until set, at least 1 hour, preferably up to overnight.
When the pie is chilled, make the garnish. Spread 1/3 cup sugar onto a plate. Boil the remaining ½ cup sugar with ½ cup water in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in remaining ½ cup cranberries. Stir to make sure all the cranberries are well coated in the simple syrup. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to the plate with the sugar. Roll them around to get them all nice and coated in the sugar, then gently place scatter them over the pie. Cut into wedges and serve, with whipped cream, if desired.

Cranberry Apple Muffins

Cranberry Apple Muffins

So the other day, I leave the house in a big fat hurry, don’t have time to eat breakfast, and my rumbling stomach lures me into the corner bakery in my neighborhood, a bakery that makes wonderful New York bagels and some of the best lox spread I’ve ever tasted. Being in too big a rush to have them toast and prepare a bagel, I grabbed a cranberry muffin and ran out the door. I figured it would be extremely tasty since that is the way of their bagels.

cranberry apple muffins, before baking

Ouch. Wrong. So, so unbelievably and indescribably wrong. It was terrible! I couldn’t eat more than a few bites. The texture was all wrong – too dense and dry. Also, it didn’t taste freshly baked – more like it has been sitting somewhere for too long a time. The flavor was quite unimpressive, it almost tasted chemical-y, like they used a boxed mix or something. And adding insult to injury, there were hardly any cranberries! They had stuck a few fresh (and I use the term loosely) cranberries on top, and I found a few at the bottom of the muffin, but none in the middle.

Cranberry apple muffins

Lest I be scarred for life, I decided to come home and make my own cranberry muffins, to erase the impression of that horrid, barely-edible foodlike concoction from the bakery. I had some dried cranberries, which I do like in baked goods, so I decided to go with those, even though the muffin I attempted to eat used fresh cranberries (or well, cranberries that were fresh at one point in time). And then I added an apple. Of course. Almost done with my stash, I promise.

Cranberry Apple Muffins

These muffins are so delicious. Thank goodness. Perfectly moist, lots of tart cranberry flavor, and wonderfully fresh tasting. The scars are fading. Enjoy!

Cranberry Apple Muffins

Source: adapted from The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook by Linda Beaulieu

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
½ cup canola oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup dried cranberries
Zest of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a standard muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the apples, cranberries, and orange zest.
Use your ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the prepared muffin cups. Bake 14 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then either turn them on their sides or remove them to a cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature.
Makes 12 muffins.

Cranberry Orange Waffles


I mentioned a few days ago that one of my scrumptious meals in New Orleans was, without doubt, the BEST buttermilk pancakes I have ever tasted in my entire life. They were so light! And fluffy! And moist! More so than any other pancakes I’ve tasted, even the many extremely well-executed pancakes I’ve eaten over the years. I really couldn’t get over it.


I briefly entertained the thought of going back into the kitchen, unannounced, and perhaps trying to pressure the chef to give up his secret; but I never do that kind of thing, and besides, all I had at my disposal was a butter knife. Then I thought maybe I could just charm the secret out of him, but it was first thing in the morning after a late night, and believe me, I did not look the least bit charming.


So I gave up and just went back to enjoying them and wondering what on earth made them so light and moist. Then last Sunday, I made these waffles for our brunch. We were both suitably impressed. And yes, I know it’s not really cranberry season right now, but I figure that if Mother Nature can send thirty degree temperatures and snow when it’s technically Spring, then I can used dried cranberries in March. 🙂


Anywho, these waffles’ texture reminded me of those pancakes, so fluffy and light and perfect. And these waffles have whipped egg whites in the batter. Which got me thinking that maybe that is the secret to those buttermilk pancakes – whipped egg whites! I have seen a lot of waffle recipes call for the whipped egg whites, but never a pancake recipe. Then again, I’ve never experienced pancakes so light and fluffy. So maybe that’s the secret. Any thoughts from my readers? Have you ever made pancakes with whipped egg whites? Or seen a recipe that calls for it? I am now thinking I may have to try it sometime!


Source: slightly adapted from The Best of Fine Cooking Breakfast & Brunch, Spring 2013

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
6 tbs vegetable oil
1 large egg, separated
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your waffle iron.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Measure the buttermilk, milk, and vegetable oil in a measuring cup; mix in the egg yolk and set aside.
In another bowl, beat the egg white almost to soft peaks. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue to beat until the peaks are firm and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Drop the whipped egg white onto the batter in dollops. Also drop the orange zest and cranberries on top of the batter. Use a spatula to fold all of it in until just incorporated.
Working in batches, pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter at a time onto your waffle maker and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. My waffle maker yielded 4 waffles.