Cinnamon, spice and warm apple pie, 160pp.
by corporate authors
Ryland Peters and Small, London, 2010
Cooking on page 32
Most people love their desserts and plenty of people love this book. Seven people have reviewed it on amazon.com and each of them has given five stars and glowing praise.
I haven’t bought this book—I checked it out from the library instead. But I was most drawn to the fact that the page-32 recipe calls for cranberries. This ingredient is common in the USA, but I was keen to start the search in Australia.
Cranberry and orange streusel
500 g fresh or frozen cranberries
finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange
honey, to taste
chilled single cream, to serve
For the streusel topping
75 g plain flour
75 g light brown sugar
75 g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.
Put the cranberries in a saucepan with the orange juice and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and sweeten to taste with honey. Pour into a baking dish and let cool.
Mix the flour, sugar and orange zest in a bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and is on no account greasy or oily. (Pop into a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes if it has become so.)
Once the cranberries are cold, sprinkle the topping evenly over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve warm with cream.
How it played out
My search for fresh or frozen cranberries proved ‘fruitless’. As far as I can tell, fresh cranberries are NEVER available in Australia. Frozen ones can be had, but I couldn’t find any this week. A couple of speciality shops said they get them, especially around the holiday season.
Luckily my investigations revealed that craisins (sweetened and dried cranberries) can be reconstituted and used for cooking purposes. The suggestion was to use 50 grams of craisins for every 100 grams needed in the recipe, and to soak these in hot water for 15–20 minutes. Craisins are readily available in Australia, so that’s exactly what I did.
Miraculously, the day I wanted to make this, I had all the ingredients on hand, so it was simple to throw together.
The orange juice pretty much boiled away in the two minutes of stovetop cooking, making for a drier base layer, which was probably a good thing. I was in a hurry, so didn’t let the berries cool completely before adding the streusel topping. I also didn’t add honey because craisins are already sweetened.
This was carted off to daughter Petra’s cricket game where it was promptly wolfed down (with big smiles and thumbs up) by the whole team.