Monday, November 24, 2008


"There are several theories as to the origin of the name 'cranberry.' One is that the open flowers look like the head of a crane; another is that cranes like to these sour berries. The Pequot Indians of Cape Cod called the berry ibimi, meaning bitter berry. Algonquin Indians were among the first to harvest wild cranberries. They used them for food, medicine, and as a symbol of peace. Native Americans pounded cranberries into a paste and mixed with dried meat, and called this mixture 'pemmican.' One of the first references to cranberries was made in a letter written by Mahon Stacy to his brother in England dated April 26, 1680."

~ American cranberries meet English flow-blue
~ Another favorite cranberry sauce recipe
( Wolfgang Puck 1993 on Good Morning America)
Peel and juice of 1 medium orange
Peel and juice of 1/2 medium lemon
3 cups port
1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, washed
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

  • Cut orange and lemon peels into julienne. In small saucepan, heat juices and 1/2 cup port. Over medium-high heat, cook peels until tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve.
  • In medium saucepan, combine cranberries, onion, 2 cups port, ginger, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Over medium-high heat, cook until relish thickens, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup port, Grand Marnier, and reserved orange and lemon peel mixture. Cool. Transfer to serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. (Can make up to 1 week ahead.)


~ Delicious side clipped from Bon Appetit (Nov 2002) can be prepared ahead and reheated 20 minutes before serving.


8 8-oz. scrubbed red-skinned sweet potatoes

1 cup dried cranberries

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter

2 large firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

4 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger

4 tsp. packed golden brown sugar

2 tsp. plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

  • Position rack in cent of oven and preheat to 350-degrees. Line baking sheet with foil/ Pierce potatoes in several places with fork; place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with fork, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, place cranberries in small bowl; pour enough hot water over to cover. Let stand 5 minutes to soften. Drain well.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and saute until tender and golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in cranberries, pecans ginger, and brown sugar; saute 1 minute, Mix in 2 tsp. vinegar and q/2 tsp. salt.
  • Cut off top 1/4 of each potato lengthwise; discard tops. Using fork, gently mash pulp inside each potato. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  • Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar. Drizzle abut 1 tsp. butter-vinegar mixture into each potato; mix with fork to blend.
  • Mound cranberry mixture in sweet potatoes. (Can prepare 4 hours ahead. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature. Rewarm sweet potatoes , uncovered in 350-degree oven until heated through, about 20 minutes.



~ Tangy cranberries, fresh orange, spices and simple glaze ... perfect ending for the festive day (Williams-Sonoma favorite)


Cranberry Streusel:

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg'1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbs. grated orange zest

4 eggs

3/4 cup milk


1.2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • Have all ingredients at room temperature.
  • Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 325-degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan; tap our excess.
  • Streusel: In small sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine cranberries and orange juice. Bring to simmer and cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Let cook, then coarsely chop cranberries. Transfer to small bowl, add brown sugar and pecans and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Cake: Over sheet of waxed paper, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt; set aside. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add Granulated sugar and orange zest and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes., stopping mixer occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping mixer occasionally to scrape down sided of bowl. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat layering, then spoon remaining batter on top. Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60-65 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cake cool upright in pan for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make glaze: In small saucepan over medium-high heat combine orange juice and granulated sugar. Heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove fro heat.
  • Tap Bundt pan gently on work surface to loosen cake. Set rack over sheet of waxed paper, invert pan onto rack and lift off the pan. Using pastry brush, brush warm cake with glaze. Let cake cool completely, at least 2 hours before serving. (16 servings)


RURAL said...

Even though we have already had a Canadian Thanksgiving, I vote for all of us Canadians to recelebrate once again. This way we can try out those delicious recipes.


beckie said...

Joey, what delicious recipes. Cranberry relish is always a favorite at Thanksgiving-it compliments the turkey so well. The stuffed sweet potatos are a new idea to me, but sound tempting and much tastiers than plain bakes ones. The cake also sounds wonderful and would make a beautiful center piece. Thanks for the cranberry 'tutorial'!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Amy said...

Oh Joey, your blog is always making me hungry :) Absolutely love those crimson berries against the flow blue china. Gorgeous!

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Good morning Joey and thank you for your nice comment on my Onion Soup post I love the picture of the soup :-). A little bit late but congratulation dear Joey. This cake you are presenting will be hard to resist, it must be perfect for the 'First Advent' that we celebrate now on Sunday the 30th of November.

Anonymous said...

My husband would love me if I made your recipes every day. They truly do sounds awesome. I love the red and blue together. I'm nuts over red checks and blueberry fabric together.

I'm so tired Joey. But I just had to come see you before I headed off to bed. My whole week is going to be this way. I'm thankful my kids are coming home to be with us. It makes all the hard wokd worith it.

Helen/patientgardener said...

Ooo - I saw that my local supermarket at fresh Cranberries in this week so I will definately go and try one of these. I havent cooked with Cranberries before so wasnt sure what to do with them.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love cranberries. Both the relish and the sweet potatoes sound good. I'm copying the recipes--thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh my goodness that first shot of the cranberries on the blue is just gorgeous! Now if the recipes are half as good a that picture then its going to be a yummy Thanksgiving!!! Kim

joey said...

Great idea, Jen. Plus we all could use another day to focus on being thankful ... there is more to Thanksgivng the the great feast!

It's hard to beat a simple baked sweet potato, Beckie, actually my favorite but fun to try new twists on old favorites. Adventurous, I prepare a new cranberry sauce/relish each year (last year's was amazing) but the family still prefers the old favorite that they grew up on best. Enjoy the beautiful holiday with your lovely family.

Thanks Amy ~ I so love both cranberries and my treasured set of flow blue dishes/serving pieces (my grandparents that I never had the joy to know), hand-washed each holiday as a child and now with me.

I don't know where November flew, dear Tyra, but stunned thinking Advent is right around the corner. Wondering, are you able to find cranberries?

Thanks for taking precius time to visit, Anna. Believe me, I hear you. I think the Thanksgiving feast is by far the hardest meal to prepare and get to the table 'hot'. Even organized, the many side dishes present problems. But it also seems to be the gathering where everyone is most 'thankful', not only for blessings and good food, but simply to be together. Don't work too hard to enjoy the beautiful day with your family. Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Patient ~ I 'patiently' wait each autumn for the arrival of fresh cranberries. Want more cranberry recipes? Key in 'cranberry' at the top of my blog and enjoy many of my favorites ;)

Marnie ~ hope you enjoy! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family.

Thanks Kim ~ I'm still chucking over your last post! You are 'one amazing woman'!

Marysol said...

Ibimi. Sounds so much prettier than cranberries, don't you think?

Joey, I learned something new today, but then, I always do whenever I drop by.
And [ker plunk!] that picture should be plastered on the cover of Bon Appétit's fall issue.

Thanks for the recipes my friend; I'm really interested in making your Spiced Relish this Thanksgiving.
And if I don't see you again before then, may you enjoy a delicious feast, amid your loved ones. And may you also have an eager volunteer ready to clean up at the end of a glorious day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Catherine said...

Hi Joey!
I LOVE the beautiful red cranberries against the gorgeous hint of flow blue china!:) Your recipes all sound so yummy! I know Thanksgiving (like all of your meals) is a decadent treat! The spice cake sounds especially yummy!
Always tempting us with your delicious recipes!:D

Anonymous said...

Hi Joey, your recipes are the best. Talk about timely, my cranberry relish is kind of blah, I just made it today. Ginger and cinnamon are just the ticket! Thanks. All of your recipes sound so wonderful. Lot of great ways to use these lovely berries. I think the sweet potatoes might need to be tried after all the hubbub dies down. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday.

Rose said...

Oh, these all sound so yummy, Joey! No one in my family likes cranberries but me. I've resorted to buying a small container of cranberry relish at the deli just so I can have some with Thanksgiving dinner. But I might have to try the sweet potato recipe--I have pears I'm trying to use up, too. And the cake ....well, they might just eat that:)

I had relatives who used to live in Wisconsin in the heart of cranberry country. It was interesting to see them growing, so unlike the corn and bean fields here.

joey said...

Ah sweet Marysol ~ as you can see, I'm 'crazy' 'bout cranberries! Blessings for your home and table also ... I can only imagine what masterpieces are flowing through your talented hands! (and I do have good helpers ... I've trained them well;)

Thanks dearest Cat ~ I'll be thinking of you on this special day, thankful that you are my dear bloggin' sis! Happy Thanksgiving wishes for your loved ones also.

My thoughts are also with you and your family, Frances, knowing your kitchen must be much like your garden ... perfect ;)

Oh dear Rose, a thanksgiving treat stopping by with such sweet comments. Had so hoped to visit a cranberry bog when in Wisconsin but alas ... See, you (and Beckie) really must come for a visit ... you would never be void of cranberries during the holiday season. Everyone teases me about my passion ... wait 'till you taste my Cranberry Salmon!