Saturday, November 5, 2011

Radical Cooking - Fresh Cranberries Year Round

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms
www.CheesecakeFarms.com

Fresh Cranberry Apple Pie!
Only one of the things you can make with fresh cranberries.
YUM!!

It's cranberry season and the season is very short...... just Thanksgiving till Christmas...so, if you're a cranberry lovers, now's the time to tuck a few bags into the freezer cranberry treats all years long.

Cranberry bread, cranberry scones, cranberry ginger bread, cran-apple pie, cranberry muffins .... and so much more!

No special tricks for freezing. 
Simply over-wrap the bags of cranberries (just as they come from the store) with another plastic bag and tuck into the freezer. That's it!

When ever you need cranberries for a recipe, just remove the portion you need (the berries don't stick together), rinse them under tepid running water, drain and stir into your recipe.  No thawing required.
Fresh cranberries all year round - that's pretty radical!

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

One of our favorite recipes!  
Easy to make.  Yummy to eat!  

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Makes 3 mini loaves
Used baking parchment
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2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped - see Karla's Tip #1)
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice (bottled is OK)
Grated rind of 1 thick skinned orange (about 2 tablespoons)
1 (large or extra large) egg (1/4 cup)
1/4 vegetable oil (not olive)


Position oven rack so loaves will bake in center.  Preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease pans.  Line bottoms with baking parchment.

In one bowl, whisk together orange juice, rind, egg and oil.

In a second bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda.  Add walnuts and cranberries.  Toss to coat.

Mix both bowls together, stirring by hand until combines.  Divide between the 3 pans.

Bake in preheated oven till a cake tester comes out done, tops are lightly browned and the sides of the loaves start to pull away from the sides of the pans - 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool in pans 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and place top side up on rack to finish cooling.

Karla's Tip #1 - Walnuts
When buying walnuts, choose the kind called "halves and pieces".  They are the freshest, best tasting and best value walnuts for baking.  Coarsely chop or use as is in recipes that call for chopped nuts.

Pre-packaged "chopped or diced" walnuts are the odd bits resulting from machine shelling.  They're not the best quality or freshest nuts.  They give the illusion of convenience (because you don't have to chop them) so they often cost more per pound.  Their tiny size does not give as much nut flavor as the larger "halves and pieces" do.

Store walnuts in the freezer - even if you haven't opened the package.  This keeps their oils from going rancid.  Use right from the freezer - no need to thaw before using.

Storing walnuts in the refrigerator for a few days is OK but longer refrigerator storage may cause them to mold.

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