I didn't mean to swear that loudly in the store. It had just sort of slipped out in all the excitement. One guy turned away from me assuming me to be some crazy youngin' who didn't know better. The stock boy paused his task of corn stacking and raised his eyebrow at me in curious stupor. Down the aisle next to the celery a mother glared at me as her children, little girls now poisoned by my filthy mouth, were doomed to grow up into delinquents with pink hair and dog collars that matched their boyfriends' eyebrow jewelry.
Whatever. I can't help it if the first thing that comes out of my mouth when I see bags of crimson cranberries is, "Oh sweet mighty God, FUCK YES! CRANBERRIES!" Seriously, these things are only available for what, 60 days of the year? Damn right I get excited.
As Mrs. Prudy McPrude shuffled her kids away from my negative influence and devil speak I began to build up my cranberry cache. Most of these would be thrown into what would in the next few weeks can only be described as a nervous horde. A stockpile of cranberries in my freezer and fridge that might rival the larder of an apocalypse-theory obsessed nutjob's bomb shelter.
Cranberry sorbet, cranberry bread, cranberry scones, cranberry granola... Cranberries had become part of my fall and winter ritual just like busting out the good blankets from storage come the cold rains and cursing out the squirrels who dug up my potted plants. Every year I try to do something a bit new and inventive, I try my best to break out of the ruby colored mold.
This year was no different. I went and broke the mold by breaking out the springform pan: cranberry cake - a super simple one. A quick rendezvous in the kitchen resulting in a cake that everyone would fawn over in a cranberry colored haze. This cake is simple as can be: sugar, eggs, butter, flour, some salt and milk, and an entire bag of cranberries.
It's definitely something that'll make you swear out loud for cranberries too.
makes 1 9x13 or 1 10" springform cake
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of milk
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups cranberries (1 bag)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan or a 10" springform pan.
2. Beat eggs and sugar together for 5-7 minutes; the eggs will increase in volume quite a bit, streaming into ribbons when you lift the beaters. They will also turn pale yellow.
3. Add butter and extracts and beat for 2 minutes. Add the milk and salt and mix for another 30 seconds.
4. Stir in flour and fold in cranberries. Pour into greased pan.
5. Bake 45-50 minutes for a 9x13, or a little over an hour for the springform. You may need to tent the cake with foil in the last 15 minutes or so to keep the top from browning. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.