Before I get to the cranberries, let me just warn you about some possible down time. I’ve been watching my blog exhibit various weird (and annoying) behaviors behind the scenes for several months. For the next few days, I’m going to attempt to get to the bottom of it, which means there could be some times when my website is inaccessible.
I hope to keep the downtime to a minimum (and to solve all of the problems without having to do anything drastic) but I thought I should let you know in case you drop in and find everything temporarily gone.
Ok, on to the good stuff!
I’ve shared this recipe before, but I did so without all of the pretty pictures, and more importantly, without having actually made it myself. I just copied it directly off of my mother’s recipe card.
Of course, this was a perfectly good bet, since it’s one of those tried-and-true recipes and it didn’t require any testing from me. So why share it now?
Well, for one thing, I’ve made a few heart-healthier tweaks to it so Neil can enjoy a slice. Also, the original recipe was written to involve a blender, and my own blender is such a pain in the neck to get out of storage, use, clean, and put away that I decided to do that part with tools that I find less problematic.
I highly recommend following the recipe in terms of softening your shortening. My 22-year-old microwave went kablooie (technical term) 10 seconds into softening mine, and as a result, it was still somewhat stiff when I went at it with my hand blender. That was not a success, so I switched to electric beater. Better, but the wet ingredients were truly unappetizing to look at until I added them to the dry. Luckily, it didn’t affect the final loaf, but it definitely made the blending stage more of a challenge and kind of messy.
I baked one loaf as written, and then a batch of muffins without the walnuts, for those in my family who are not big on crunchy things in their bread. I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried the muffins myself because I am enjoying the loaf so much, and frankly the walnuts are a big part of that for me.
I’m having a slice for breakfast right now, in fact, topped with a bit of cream cheese. Mmmmm. Cranberry bread is so November!
Here is the updated recipe. Now, please pardon me while I go online and price new microwaves.
Mom’s Cranberry Bread (Adapted)
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Featherweight baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 Egg
- 1/8 cup Earth Balance Vegan Shortening*
- 3/4 cup Orange juice
- Peel from 1/2 Orange grated
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Cranberries chopped
- 1 cup Walnuts chopped
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
- Beat egg, shortening, orange juice, orange peel and sugar until combined.
- Stir in cranberries and nuts.
- Empty into flour mixture. Mix by hand until moistened.
- Bake in a greased 9×5 pan at 350°F for 45 to 60 minutes.
- I used Earth Balance Vegan Shortening because I originally thought it might have a more heart-healthy fat content than Crisco. It turns out it doesn’t, but I do prefer the Earth Balance ingredient list at any rate. You can use whatever shortening you have on hand and it will be fine.