A rustic cake that "pops" with fresh cranberries. It's best made a day ahead so works especially well for potlucks and holiday gifts.
“IKEA is coming! IKEA is coming!” So buzzed St. Louis last week when the Swedish retailer announced plans to open a store here in 2015.
Most folks, I figure, are excited for IKEA’s inexpensive, Scandinavian-style assembly-required furniture and kitchens plus the vast (overwhelming) warehouses of affordable do-jabs and do-jibs generously categorized as “more stuff we can’t live without” and “fuel for the American economy”.
Me? I’m thrilled for IKEA’s lingonberries, the tiny red northern berries whose sour juice I first experienced while living in Finland as an exchange student an incomprehensible number of decades ago.
Here in the States, lingonberry jam is findable if pricey and once I found a single bag of frozen lingonberries at the wonder that is Global Foods Market, an international market just a quick distance away.
But fresh lingonberries? Impossible! Lingonberries are just not happenin’, not even if in 2012 Dr. Oz called them the new superfood for longevity.
So my passion for lingonberries cedes to the winter season’s ubiquitous fresh cranberries, larger, meatier and less juicy but nonetheless a suitable substitute.
Calorie watchers, fresh cranberries are a good choice, better than the dense, sweetened dried cranberries. Dried cranberries have their place but really, they’re almost something entirely different, don’t you think?
What’s your favorite berry? Have you tried lingonberries? Are you keen for “sour” fruit too? Is there another fruit that you especially love for its “sourness”?
FRESH CRANBERRY CAKE
Time to table: 3 hours but tastes better after 24 hours
Makes 1 large springform pan, about 16 servings
- Baking spray
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- 1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons/6oz/170g) salted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (don’t skip!)
- 2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 12 ounces (2-1/3 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons/2oz/28g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (120g) untoasted pecans (Missouri-native black walnuts are wonderful too!)
CAKE Heat oven to 350F. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with baking spray.
In a standing mixer with the “whip” attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 4 to 7 minutes; the mixture will increase in volume and turn pale yellow, when the beaters are lifted, “ribbons” will fall.
Beat in the butter, vanilla and almond extract for 2 minutes until fully incorporated. With a spatula, fold in flour, salt and cranberries, the mixture will be thick, especially if the cranberries are frozen. Gently transfer to the springform pan, smoothing the top.
TOPPING In a small bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar and nuts until combined and crumbly. With your fingers, crumble over top of the cake batter.
BAKE Uncovered, bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, place a piece of foil over the cake, not tightly but loosely, so hot air gets in but the nuts on top don’t burn. Bake for another 30 minutes. Check for doneness, a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If needed, bake for another 5 – 10 minutes, foil off.
COOL Let cool for 20 – 60 minutes, then slip a knife around the outside of the pan and remove the sides. Finish cooling.
TO SERVE Cake can be served after cooling but will slice more neatly and will develop more flavor after 24 hours. Just cover and store at room temperature. Lovely served with whipped cream sweetened with a little cranberry liqueur.
MAKE-AHEAD Bake the cake one day. Once completely cool, cover and serve the next.
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012
Frosty Christmas Trees Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn Gourmet Mocha Cookies Graham Cracker Toffee Cranberry-Mac Morsels Butter Tart Bars Perfect M&M Cookies Sesame Candy Fresh Cranberry Drop Cookies Chocolate Ginger Crinkle Cookies Colored Roll-Out Sugar Cookies Holiday Baking Tips from a Certifiable Cookie-Baking Fiend No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies Bourbon Pralines
More "Crazy for Cranberries" Recipes
Who's Itching to Bake for Christmas?
Shop Your Pantry First
© Copyright 2013 Kitchen Parade