I must confess I have a weakness for that (kinda gross) jellied cranberry sauce in the can. I am sure it has to do with childhood Holiday memories nested deep in my brain. On the other hand, I really love this cranberry relish that is quick, easy and fresh. It is a little bit sweet, a little bit tart and very special with a baked ham or a roasted chicken or turkey, not to mention roasted vegetables.. All you need is a food processor and about 10 minutes. It will keep in the fridge for a few days in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid so it is an excellent make-ahead.
There really isn’t any need for an official recipe, but I put a quick one at the end just in case.
About 2 cups of fresh cranberries, 2 firm but ripe pears, 1 orange including the peel and a 1/2 cup raw or turbinado sugar are the 4 ingredients needed. All chopped in a processor, jarred and chilled. It really is “easy-as-this”. What a nice jar of this would be for a food-lover on your Holiday List!
Fresh Cranberry, Pear and Orange Relish
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
- 2 firm, but ripe pears, cored
- 1 orange, cut into wedges, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup raw or turbinado sugar
- Medium chop cranberries in a food processor. Scrape into a mixing bowl.
- Puree pears and add to mixing bowl.
- Medium to finely chop orange wedges and add to mixing bowl.
- Add sugar and stir ingredients together. Taste and adjust sugar if needed.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 4-5 days.
Note: For gift-giving, add a ribbon or tag with the date made and ingredients in a pretty jar. How easy is that?
Teresa Blackburn. http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com
For years…childhood years…I thought cranberries only came in a can with jelly. It never occurred to me that somewhere far, far away the origins of this jellied staple of Holiday dinners grew on bushes in bogs.
In adulthood I discovered the wonderfulness of whole fresh cranberries and I have never looked back. My love of all-things-cranberry…the color, the tartness that is transformed with a bit or sugar or molasses, the texture when you bite into one…seems to take over my kitchen every holiday season.
This is one of the most tender cake I have ever made. The sweet-tart cranberry-sugar topping is a modern, seasonal riff on the classic upside-down cake.
Cake pan is batter ready……
…baked and cooling ready to be…..
…turned upside-down. Love the color and texture and oh my so good.
If you plan to bake and take a dessert to a dinner or gathering this December and you have limited time this would be the one to bake!
My Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup recipe is another you might like to try for gifting or just having on hand for quick cocktails. More recently I posted my really easy recipe for Cranberry-Pomegranate Cordial.
Have a Happy Holiday. Eat Well, Share and give what you can.
Fresh Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened + extra for grease cake pan
- 1/2 cup white sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh whole cranberries (can use fresh frozen & thawed)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Powdered sugar optional or a Vanilla Ice Cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease the sides and bottom of an 8 inch cake pan with 1 tbsp of butter.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the cake pan with the white sugar-cinnamon mixture.
- Pour fresh whole cranberries into the cake pan. Gently shake pan to “settle” the cranberries.
- Using an electric mixer cream the softened stick of butter with the 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add in the egg & vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
- In a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Turn mixer to low and alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk and beat just until combined. Scrape down mixing bowl as needed.
- Scrape batter over the cranberries in the cake pan and smooth top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake pan to a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.
- Turn cake out onto a serving plate or cake stand. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen if need be. Serve warm or at room temperature with or without a dusting of powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This cake recipe is based on one I saved from a Martha Stewart Magazine a few years ago. It is a very moist cake as the sugar cinnamon mixture and the cranberries caramelize while baking. When the cake is turned upside down gravity takes over and the result is a tender moist cake.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com
You still have time…plenty of time to make this cranberry and pomegranate cordial for gift giving. Ten days and you will be ready to bottle the best gift ever for all your amateur or professional bartender friends. This one can be drunk as is or used to shake-up some very special seasonal cocktails. A sip or two will also make you feel more “cordial”during the often stressful days of December.
One cup of pomegranate seeds (arils) and 12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries…..
…one liter or good vodka, a simple syrup and the peel of one orange are all you will need.
For 10 days this jar stayed in my pantry with a shake once a day and it was ready to decant and gift. Very yummy, very easy, very pretty.
Clear seasonal color to sip!
I really like to “bottle” as you might have realized from previous blogs. I also like to make libations to bottle. Here are some previous posts that will give you information on how to make Limoncello, Blood-Orangecello, Buddhacello (using the exotic citrus Buddha Hand), or my Pear Infused Vodka among others.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar mixed with 1 1/2 cups water
- 12 ounces of fresh or frozen(thawed) whole cranberries
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- Orange rind strips from one orange
- 1 liter of good vodka
- To make the simple syrup bring the sugar & water to a low boil over medium high heat. Stir & turn to low to simmer for about 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove simple syrup from heat to cool completely.
- Put cranberries in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
- Mix together in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid the cooled simple syrup, 1 liter of vodka, chopped cranberries, pomegranate seeds & orange rind strips. Store in a cool, dark closet or cabinet, shaking daily, for about 10 days.
- Strain liquid mixture through a fine sieve & pour cordial into small bottles to give as gifts. Close bottles tightly with metal caps or corks.
To enjoy: Drink chilled or at room temp as an aperitif….or pour into a glass of ice and top with seltzer or Cava for a refreshing cocktail garnished with a slice or orange.
(This recipe is adapted from a Cranberry Cordial recipe by Melissa Clark published in the New York Times.)
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com www.foodonfifth.com