My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cranberry Coffee Cake

American and Canadian sailors on long voyages knew they could eat cranberries to protect themselves from scurvy -- making them a cranberry counterpart to British "Limeys."

I absolutely love cranberries and this is the first of a few recipes that I'll share to showcase them.  Their juice is my favorite.  I have to have it in the house at all times or I get cranky.
Some cranberry facts:
The cranberry is one of three fruits native to North America. The other two are the Concord grape and the blueberry.

Wild cranberries were probably served at the first Thanksgiving meal.

If you lined up all the cranberries produced in North America in 2000, they would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times.

The first cranberry crop was harvested in 1816 in Massachusetts.

Cranberry juice contains a chemical that blocks pathogens that cause tooth decay

1550 Native Americans use cranberries for food, dyes and medicine. 
1620  Pilgrims learn to use cranberries from the Native Americans. 
1816 Captain Henry Hall first cultivated cranberries in Dennis, MA. 
1820s  Cranberries shipped to Europe for sale. 
1854 First census on cranberry acreage - 197 acres in Barnstable County, MA. 
1930 Ocean Spray formed as a grower-owned marketing cooperative.
1947 Walk-behind mechanical dry harvesters replaced hand scooping. 
1953  First million-barrel national crop. 
1959 Cranberry scare causes industry market to crash. 
2002 Two independent studies find that antioxidants—which cranberries are high in—appear to provide some significant protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Cranberry Bog, Marstons Mills, MA

As I've mentioned here before, I love all things sweet and decadent in the morning best of all, eaten when you are actually hungry and you can linger, savoring every morsel.
Speaking of Linger; that is one of my all-time favorite songs and
it's by.....Yes, you know it.... The Cranberries,
an Irish rock band formed in 1989.

This coffee cake is old fashioned and sweet.  It reminds me of my great-grandmother, who's coffee cakes oft tasted of either almond or candied fruits.  

I haven't had much time lately.  You know how it is.  Life has a way of occasionally steamrolling you and I've found it easiest at those times to just roll along instead of fighting it.  When I finally had a moment to pause, I whipped up this cake.  It's easy, even the batter is yummy and you don't have to delay gratification because it's just as good warm or cold.

Cranberry Coffee Cake
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 (15 ounce) can cranberry sauce
4 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12-inch Spring-form pan.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, and almond flavoring.  Combine the dry ingredients and add to the batter alternating with the sour cream.  Pour batter into the prepared pan, alternating batter, cranberry sauce and batter.  Mix together all of the topping ingredients, except dried cranberries.  Sprinkle over batter and then sprinkle on the dried cranberries last.  Bake for 1 hour.  Test by inserting a sharp knife into center of cake; if it comes out clean, cake is done.  Remove to a rack, cool 10 minutes.  While cake is cooling, make the glaze.  Stir almond extract and hot water into the confectioner's sugar.  Add more hot water in tiny amounts until you get the right consistency to drizzle off of a spoon.  Drizzle on cake.  Enjoy warm or cold.


Anna Johnston said...

I love The Cranberries, whatever happened to The Cranberries!!!!
Now I'm armed and dangerous on the Cranberry knowledge facts, I'm going to have to make this little baby just so I can spin off all my new found knowledge... lol

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Haha, thanks Anna! I know, I love The Cranberries!

Verena said...

Margaret, this Cranberry Coffee Cake looks absolutely fantastic. Thanks for this great recipe. I´ve never baked anything with Cranberries. Cranberries are just starting to get popular over here in Germany. So have to try it...
And by the way, I love "THE CRANBERRIES", too. :D

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Hi Verena,
Thanks so much!
I have several great cranberry recipes, including Cranberry Bread, Sauce, Fresh Cranberry Salad. Feel free to email me if you would like any of those before I post them.

Satrupa said...

I absolutely adore the Cranberry cake ...... and thanks for sharing the interesting facts about this wonder berry.

Cheers n Happy Cooking,

steph said...

I love The Cranberries! Reminds me of college.