Sunday, May 08, 2005

Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread CakeNot-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake (Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours)

For the filling

1 large navel orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar

For the cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoons salt
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the filling

Grate the entire zest from the orange and remove the white pith left behind with a sharp knife. Slice between the membranes of the orange to remove the segments. Cut each segment into 1/4" pieces and place them, along with the zest, in a medium saucepan. Squeeze any of the juice left in the membranes of the orange into a measuring cup - you need about 1/4 cup total juice, if you don't get that much just add extra orange juice (or water if need be) to reach that amount.

Stir the cranberries and 3/4 cup granulated sugar into the pan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil - cook, stirring constantly, until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens enough that your spoon will leave a track when you move it through. This should take around 5 minutes once it comes to the boil. Scoop the jam into the bowl and let it cool slightly - if it is still too tart, add enough of the remaining 1/4 cup sugar to even out the flavor. Allow to cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate it until needed.

To make the cake

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy - about 1 minute. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and mix until completely combined. Add the egg and yolk - beat the mixture until combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir by hand just until the flour has been absorbed. Divide the mixture in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten each portion into a disk and cover with another piece of plastic wrap - place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350

Working with one portion of the dough at a time, roll one piece out between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is large enough to cover the bottom of a 9" springform pan coated with nonstick spray. Carefully lift up the dough and lightly press it around to fit it into the pan. Scoop the cranberry filling on top of the dough and use an off-set spatula to spread it to an even layer. Remove the second piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out again to the same size as the first. Carefully flip the dough on top of the filling and use your fingers to lightly even it out so the dough completely covers the filling. Lightly brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons granulated sugar on top.

Bake until the top of the cake is a light golden and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean - about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove and place the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes - gently run a thin knife around the edge to loosen the cake, then remove the sides of the pan and let cool completely.

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  1. Hi there! I'm so intrigued by this recipe! Can't wait to try it - I LOVE shortbread. I was just wondering, I've been trying to master those caramel shortbread bars - but I like softer, chewier shortbread crusts rather than the crumbly sort. And I find that most recipes for shortbread crusts are too crumbly for my taste. Do you think this recipe might go well with the shortbread bars if I'm looking for that chewier, softer type? Would love to hear what you think! Thanks so much!

  2. Bianca - This is really more of a cake than a cookie, but you pose an interesting question. I guess it would be worth experimenting! This is definitely a softer, non crumbly, version of shortbread!

  3. Thanks for the response, Joe! I'll definitly give these a try then. I appreciate the feedback. :)