Fresh cranberries are everywhere in the fresh produce aisles of local markets, and it is time to stock up for great recipes.
The bright red, tart, marble-size berry is a true native of North America, and grew wild in New England. Indians showed early settlers how to use cranberries as a food and also in medicines. Sailors used the vitamins in cranberries to ward off scurvy, as they are naturally high in Vitamin C. We now know that they are an excellent antioxidant.
Buy extra bags as they freeze perfectly for recipes later in December.
Apple Cranberry Crisp
3 cups chopped peeled tart apples
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and flour. Pour into baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly using your fingers, and spread over apple mixture. Bake at 350° for 50 - 55 minutes or until fruit is tender and it is golden brown on top.
Fresh Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
2 medium onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, including tops, chopped
1/2 cup butter
6 cups cubed crustless day-old bread (use a variety of breads)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, or combination
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (may need a bit more)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
In a skillet, sauté onions and celery in butter until tender; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in bread cubes, nuts, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Add cranberries; toss lightly to mix. In a small bowl, combine eggs, broth and brown sugar; pour over bread mixture. Mix lightly until bread is moistened. Place in a well-greased 2-qt. casserole. If there are pieces of bread that are not moist, spoon a bit of extra chicken broth over top of them. (Should not be soupy, but should be very moist.) Cover and bake at 325° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Serve with baked turkey, chicken or pork.
Marian’s Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. orange zest (shaved from a fresh orange’s outer skin)
5 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1 large egg, well beaten
3/4 cup orange juice (prefer fresh squeezed juice)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. On a large ungreased baking sheet, toast pecans or walnuts for about 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven quickly as they will continue to brown for a few minutes until they cool. When cooled, chop nuts coarsely and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine egg, orange juice, almond and vanilla extracts. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture using your fingers. Gently work the butter pieces into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped cranberries and nuts. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely before slicing. This loaf can be frozen.