Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ina Garten's Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake

While I enjoy making savory dinners, there is always room for dessert.  There, I said it.  I like dessert.  I don't eat dessert every night.  But once in a while I like to keep an arsenal of quick dessert recipes, for when the fancy strikes me to make something sweet.  I record some of my favorite Food Network shows, but sometimes it takes me days, weeks, months to find time to watch them.  Last week, I watched a recorded episode of "The Barefoot Contessa".  I watched Ina Garten make this very easy dessert, and I quickly searched for the recipe on line.  D'oh! It's in my latest Ina Garten cookbook "How Easy is That?" that I purchased, and I had forgotten about it.


As luck would have it, I had one more bag of frozen cranberries left, after I made the Cranberry-Almond Poundcake.  I had apples that needed to be used.  This would be tonight's dessert! 

I decided to use two Granny Smith apples, rather than Ina's one, in her recipe.  Cranberries can be a bit tart, so I wanted to increase the apple.  My apple corer helps me to peel, core and slice apples in less than a minute. It's one of my newest favorite kitchen tools.  You also need the zest of two oranges (1 Tbsp.)  and about 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice.

Because I didnt' want the apples to dominate the flavor, I used my secret ingredient, "Boiled Cider." (I buy this online at King Arthur Flour.) 

Combine cranberries, apples, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of  cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set it aside.

It took less than 15 minutes to make the batter.  The beauty of using butter in this recipe is that you melt it, and let it cool-- no having to wait to bring it to room temperature. You also need eggs, sugar, flour, sour cream, vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Can we talk about the paddle attachment that I use? It's a beater blade that I ordered online.  I love it, because it scrapes the sides of the bowl really well.  To know me, is to know that I love gadgets that make my life just a little easier!With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt. Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely.

I didn't pay attention to the directions, and I sprinkled cinnamon on top.  I should have sprinkled cinnamon-sugar.  The sugar will leave a nice crunch to the cake, so I'm definitely going to do that next time.
NOTE: Be sure to place the cake on a parchment paper lined baking tray, before baking it in a 350 degree oven.  I checked my cake at 50 minutes, rather than 55 and the cake was ready.  Only poke a toothpick into the dough, as the fruit is going to be gooey!

See what I mean?  The fruit will bubble and flow over the sides.  The baking tray and parchment paper makes for easy cleanup.  This cake is best served warm or at room temperature.

A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is perfect with this. (Or, fresh whipped cream.)

TASTING NOTES: I would call this a cross between a cobbler and a cheater pie, but the dough bakes into a tender cake consistency.  It's not too sweet, and easier than pie!  My husband thought the cranberries were a bit tart. Usually, I'm the one who is sensitive to sour/tart flavor. I actually thought the fruit had a perfect balance of sweet and tart.  My son agreed with me (for a change).  I plan to make this version with all apples. I also plan to make this with berries, and also when fresh peaches come into season.  

How easy is that?!

Now that I'm revisiting Ina's newest cookbook, I've bookmarked a few more recipes that I'll be cooking and baking over the next few weeks.  I love her recipes. This particular cookbook has a lot of easy recipes, and she does share some really great tips.  This book is worth the less than $25.00 investment.  The pictures, as always, are mouth-watering.

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of InternetExplorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.

If you still can't figure out how to view the printable recipe card, please email me at foodiewife@gmail.com and I am happy to help

Thanks, Ina!




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21 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Ms.Ina's recipes are always a winner.. They always come out right..U would think I owned her cookbooks cuz of all the recipes I've used of hers... Don't own one just bookmark her recipes...

My Kitchen in the Rockies said...

I own all of Ina's books and cook out of them all the time. Her recipes just work. I will make note of the apple cake in my copy. It looks great. Thanks.
Kirsten

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm one who loves cranberries and squirrels away some bags to keep in the freezer for special occasions, such as this cake. Gorgeous photos.
Sam

Joanne said...

I think the baking kibosh is going to have to go on hiatus so that I can make this. I just happen to have a bag of cranberries (or six) in my freezer that NEED to be used! Looks delicious and I love that ooey gooey fruit filling!

Chris and Amy said...

Quick, easy and delicious! We're all over it, especially when baking. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kate said...

Mmmm...Looks totally yummy! I will give it a try...after I work off the cupcakes I made!

Valerie said...

This looks delicious! I love the idea of combining cranberries and apples.

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
I love this cake, and what?
no rasp-berries????
xo

Kim said...

I love Ina's latest book, but then who am I kidding? I love all of her books. This looks delicious and you're right, much easier than pie!

Noelle Ritter said...

how fun to see which recipes you have marked. shall we race to see who gets to the goods first? seriously though... her pics... ahhhhhhhhhh

bellini valli said...

This is just heaven Debby!These days I make very few desserts but when the occasion arises I like to have tried and true recipes on hand.

Doña Masita said...

Oh my! This is simply simply delicious! So tasty, so beautiful! Congratulations!

Monica H said...

Yum! This looks so good to me right now. But it's the peach version my mouth is watering over. I must try this!

Kay Heritage said...

Simply scrumptious! What great looking recipe by Ina. Thank you, Debby!

Muneeba said...

so pretty, and luscious! can't wait to try this out ... perfect for an intimate dinner with friends :)

Now Serving said...

Yum YUM, and SUPER YUM!
http://priyasnowserving.blogspot.com/2011/03/best-yellow-layer-cake.html

Cheryl said...

That totally made my mouth water! p.s. I am making your meatloaf this week!

Val said...

D I V I N E!!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

your pictures are awesome! Ina is wonderful and this looks fabulous!

Smita Srivastava said...

Wonderful recipes n great pics ..Loved going thru ur wonderful blog ...

Bill said...

Looks so delicious, Debby! Sitting here after dinner and wanting something sweet and I saw this. Wish I had some right now!!