Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cranberries: Sparkling Gems of Winter

One of my favorite getaways is the Washington Long Beach Peninsula, where a third of the nation's cranberries are grown. Visit the Cranberry Museum, take a bog tour or dine at local restaurants and savor cranberry pancakes, toppings, ice cream and even cranberry fudge. Everywhere you look you're reminded of cranberries. . . . I wrote that in an article for Vegetarian Journal nearly ten years ago.

I still love the sparkling garnet color and sassy tart taste of cranberries this time of year. Native to North America, cranberries grew wild in bogs from Nova Scotia to North Carolina, in New Jersey, Michigan and on the west coasts of Washington and Oregon. Native Americans tended the bogs, hand weeding and harvesting the small red berries. Early settlers called them "crane-berries" because during one stage of growth, the cranberry bud hooks downward resembling a crane's head. Later the name was shortened from "crane-berry" to cranberry.

I couldn't resist the cranberries at Found and Foraged and I bought them without thinking about what I was going to make, but once I got home, I had a few ideas.

Another article from Vegetarian Journal called Awesome Autumn Desserts from the Past in 2001, had a recipe for an old fashioned simmered fruit dessert with dumplings called a "slump." My idea was to take the simmered fruit from that recipe, top it with a pie crust and bake it in the oven.

It would be a super easy dessert. I had a frozen pie crust I'd gotten from PCC Natural Markets and all I had to do was adjust the amount of arrowroot. But it wouldn't be a slump, so I called it a cobbler.

Here is my revised recipe:


(Serves 6)
Cranberries and raspberries were simply meant to be together. This time of year, I harvest cranberries from my freezer. I got them last summer at the market at Rent’s Due Ranch.
1 9-inch frozen pie crust, thawed
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/3 cup orange juice or juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup arrowroot 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine cranberries, raspberries, orange juice, sugar, arrowroot, and Grand Marnier, if desired, in a heavy skillet. Mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. While berries cook, gently tip the pie crust from the shell, patch any broken pieces together.

  3. Pour cranberry-raspberry filling in a souffle or casserole dish. Roll pie crust over a rolling pin and carefully place over the berries. Patch any pieces together and crimp the edges like a pie. Make a few slashes in the crust and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes or until top is browned and the filling is bubbling up. As an option, you can butter the top and sprinkle with sugar in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

  4. Let cobbler cool slightly before serving with coconut sorbet or vanilla ice cream.
This version had great flavor but was not as thick inside as I'd hoped. Arrowroot isn't quite the same as cornstarch in recipes and it takes about twice as much to thicken desserts. Next time I make it, I think I'll try 3 tablespoons organic cornstarch instead of arrowroot .

1 comment:

ilovethaicooking said...

Love cranberry, I will definitely try the recipe. Thank you!