Cranberries are something I’ve learned to like as I’ve gotten older. Dried cranberries (Craisins) are a great salad addition, but I don’t care for them by themselves. I’ve also learned to like cranberry juice cocktail and even swigged straight cranberry juice (very tart!!) when dealing with a persistent UTI. I don’t mind one bite of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, but that’s about all I usually want.
Martha has a recipe in November Living for Cranberry Cornmeal Quick Bread. Cornbread is a huge family favorite, so I thought there was a chance the family would eat this.
You start by cooking fresh cranberries with butter and sugar. Fresh cranberries! A new one for me. You then pour that into the bottom of your loaf pan. You whip up the bread which is made with 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup cornmeal – so not a true 100% cornbread. An interesting addition is some chopped candied ginger. This is definitely not a pantry staple for me. I couldn’t find it at the grocery store and had to ask. It turned out to be in the bulk section.
This took longer to bake than predicted. Martha says 30-35 minutes. Mine cooked about 40-45 minutes. You let it cool for 15 minutes then you remove it from the pan and let it cool the rest of the way.
I had a little trouble with the appearance. Some of the cranberries ended up mixing in with the bread. It didn’t really create a sauce-y sort of topping at all, which is what I expected. When I was spreading the bread over the cranberries, they kept getting mixed up with the batter. Some of the cranberries stuck to the pan and I had to pry them out and stick them back on.
This sliced nicely (I took a photo but it didn’t turn out!) and had cranberries on the bottom 25% of each slice. Everyone loved the bread portion – very soft and tender and just sweet enough. The cranberry part was not a big hit. It was very tart, even when eaten with a mouthful of the bread. No one noticed the candied ginger at all. I couldn’t detect any flavor from it.
I can see this as being an interesting side item to serve at Thanksgiving. It’s seasonal yet creative. And anyone who doesn’t like the cranberries can just cut that part off the bread.