Kitchen Guy: Relishing Cranberries

This being winter, cranberries are the berry of the season. Here are two of my favorite cranberry recipes...

Cranberry Relish

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium red onions, cut in quarters, then slice very thin
  • 2 12 oz. bags of cranberries
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until onions are dark brown and tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir in the cranberries, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and a cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered 12 to 15 minutes or until most of the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly.

3. You can make the sauce thicker by adding a slurry of cornstarch and water.

4. Spoon the sauce into a serving bowl; cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided use
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries (1 bag as sold in supermarkets)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided use
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup heavy cream (for topping, optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar (for topping, optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Cut a parchment paper circle and place it on top of the buttered cake bottom and butter the paper.

2. In a small pan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp. of the butter and all of the brown sugar and pour the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan.

3. Place the cranberries in the cake pan on top of the melted butter and sugar.

4. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream the remaining ½-cup (1 stick) butter with the granulated sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and mix well. 
Add the milk alternately with the dry ingredients, folding well after each addition.

5. In a small mixing bowl (using clean beaters) beat the egg whites to soft peaks. 
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the peaks hold their shape. Fold the whites into the cake batter with a rubber spatula.

6. Spread the batter over the fruit in the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

7. Remove the cake from the oven and run a small knife around the edges. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes.

8. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and let it sit another 5 minutes, then remove the pan and the parchment paper.

9. Topping options: Whip the cream to soft peaks, then flavor with remaining vanilla and confectioners sugar. Serve slices of cake with the fresh whipped cream.

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