Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lots of fruit used up today!

While not quite as enormous as my blueberry stash, I do have a few bags of cranberries inside the chest freezer in the garage. Since they have such a short availability in the fall/winter, I always make sure I have enough frozen so we can have more chances to enjoy their refreshing and tart flavor well into the warm summer season.

Today was probably not the best day to have the oven on for awhile as it was very hot and humid outside, but these Cape Cod Cranberry Bars certainly made it worth pushing the AC a little more today. These bars burst with layers of flavor from the rich nutty base up to the buttery crumbles on top. The bottom and top of these bars are actually the same ingredients - this is a mixture of flour, fluffy confectioners' sugar and brown sugar that are rubbed with softened butter until the combination turns crumbly. Chopped pecans are then tossed in to complete the mix - do make sure to take the extra step of first toasting them, it adds such of depth of flavor that you would be missing out if you skipped it! If you don't groove on pecans, I bet this would be just as good with walnuts if you prefer them.

As you wait for the crust to bake, the tart crimson cranberry orbs are pulsed a few times with crisp chunks of apple, sweet fresh raspberries and granulated sugar in a food processor to create the bright ruby filling. Flour and a little melted butter are added to tighten up the filling and thicken any excess juices as the bars bake. Before the bars go into the oven, a reserved mixture of the buttery crumbles from the base are strewn across the filling to create the little golden brown nuggets you see on top. You can make these as large or small as you want - if you squeeze the crumble mixture in your hand, you will see it holds together quite nice, so how much coverage you get is up to you! Once they had cooled, they cut very well into neat and tidy squares with clean layers - love when that happens! If you do make this dish and are using frozen cranberries, be sure to use them right from the freezer, don't bother thawing before you use 'em!

I was not going turn on the oven again today, so we declared tonight another breakfast-for-dinner night and made these Citrus Waffles with Marmalade Compote. We used an "American" style waffle maker to make these, rather than the deeper pocketed Belgian - since there is not a lot of added fat in the batter, this enables the waffles to still get fairly crisp. Making these waffles a little healthier is the addition of whole wheat pastry flour and wheat germ in the batter; however, with the additions of tangy buttermilk and fresh grated orange zest, they definitely don't have an overly "wheat-y" taste to them and are still quite light.

Since we don't have those deep golden pockets to pool a thick syrup in, a fruity compote made from chunky orange marmalade, orange juice, lemon juice, sticky honey and fresh orange sections is heated in a saucepan and left to keep warm over low heat until the waffles are ready to serve. I just used the sections in the picture so the waffles would not end up soaking up the juice while we took the pictures, but there was enough sauce from the compote to go around and keep things moist.


  1. Wow those cranberry bars look fantastic. I'll have to make them.

  2. Oh my. These look so tasty. I love the stripe of pink...


  3. Hummm, the waffles look yummy!!

  4. Barbara - I wish I kept more for me!

    Jasmine - Yeah, the filling had such a striking color!

    Ana - they tasted good too!