Cranberry things have almost always been my fruit flavor of choice. The sweet, tangy, oh-so-sour quality of fresh cranberries give me shivery rushes of joy, and I remember sneaking into the freezer when I was young and snagging single red berries from a plastic bag tucked in the bottom shelf. My mother kept a supply of frozen cranberries for baking; I snuck handfuls and sucked on them like candy.
Call my childish eating habits strange, if you will. (While I ate cranberries, my younger sister enjoyed eating coffee beans raw and our youngest sister ate jalapeno pepper straight of the vine, like they were nothing more than sun-ripened blueberries. Perhaps it is simply a family quirk).
But you will not find this cranberry bread strange at all, I assure you.
I bought three bags of frozen cranberries with the hopes of stringing garlands of berries and popcorn to decorate our little Christmas tree. But before we could be bothered to take needle, thread and string the glossy red orbs, I decided to bake this cranberry bread. It was a much better decision. Trust me.
I adapted this recipe.
You will not be surprised to hear that I doubled the cranberries. Next time, tripling.
This is my version:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
- In a bowl with a pastry blender blend together the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the salt, the baking soda, and the butter until the mixture resembles meal and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk together the zest, the juice, and the egg.
- Add the mixture to the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined.
- Stir in the cranberries and transfer the batter to a well-buttered 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- Bake the bread in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 1/4 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes and turn it out onto a rack.