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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ready for a Quickie?

I don't usually make dessert during the week.  I didn't say that I didn't eat dessert during the week, although I shouldn't; I just don't usually make something special.   But every once in a while a new recipe will catch my eye, and I go for it during the week.

With cranberries easily available, I have found myself with three bags of berries and nothing to do with them.  When I saw this recipe for a cranberry apple cake I thought I had hit pay dirt.   It was quick and I had all the ingredients in the house.  A win-win as far as I was concerned.

I am not kidding you.  This cake took about ten minutes to throw together and about an hour to bake.  I put the cake together just before I started making dinner, and it was done and ready to eat by the time we had finished our main course.  To quote Ina, "how easy is that"?

The nice thing about this cake is that you could actually serve it either for dessert at dinner or as a coffee cake at brunch.  It's not too sweet and more fruity than cakey.  You could even use pears instead of the apples, which I think would be delicious and a little unexpected.  I'm going to try it that way next time.

One bag of cranberries down, two to go.

Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, 2010)


12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and medium-diced
1/2 cup light brown sugar, 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 sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside.

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.

Turn the fruit mixture into a 10-inch glass pie plate.  Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely.  Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter.  Bake for 55 - 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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