I just get so excited when I see the first cranberries (one of the three indigenous fruits from American...blueberries and concord grapes are the other two) hit the supermarket!
I know it's truly Fall and I also know that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Admittedly, I purchased several bags of the well-known brand of cranberries, but in a few weeks, I know local cranberries from Oregon will arrived in the market and those are the ones I will make my whole-berry cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving dinner, in addition to freezing more for baking when the fresh ones are gone.
When we lived in New England, back in the 90s, my husband and I took a trip to Nantucket in late October; it was a belated anniversary get away since he had relocated to New York at a new credit union and I was still in Massachusetts waiting to sell our home. Anyway, we were there during the flooding of the bogs and their Annual Cranberry Festival. Now, I've been to Gilroy, CA and seen all the recipes they do with garlic, but I'll have to say, Nantucket's Cranberry Festival had a few surprises with cranberries, I tasted, that left me speechless. Cranberry ketchup (sorry Erin, some of us like ketchup!), cranberry butters, chocolate covered cranberries (my favorite) to name a few. Our first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, I made a cranberry pie and could have eaten the whole thing :)
In addition to cranberries in this bejeweled bundt cake, I used two more ingredients we have in the Pacific Northwest to enhance the flavors--dried tart cherries and hazelnuts. However, feel free to experiment with fruits and nuts you find in your area of the country (or world). I can imagine all sorts of combinations and would love to hear about them.
And, lastly, I know I'm behind in my give-away, so here is the latest apron in beautiful leaves.
I will do the drawing the week before Thanksgiving and I'm counting in all the postings from the month of October to November 20th in the drawing. As a bonus, for being so patient with me during this busy time, I will put in a slip with your name on it every time you post; so, if you've posted, for example, 20 times during that period, you will have a greater chance to come up a winner. There will also be a surprise bonus to go with the apron, but you'll have to wait until the 20th to find out what that is. It's my way of giving thanks to all of you that follow the blog; I can't express enough what your friendship has meant during this difficult year, but know you are appreciated.
Autumn Fruit & Nut Bundt Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1 cup apple cider
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, dried on paper toweling and halved
1 cup dried tart cherries
Preheat oven 350F-degrees. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and spices.
Mix the flour and ground hazelnuts in a bowl and whisk by hand to blend. Add the dry ingredients, alternatively with the apple cider to the batter, mixing to incorporate all the ingredients. Be careful not to over mix.
Stir in the fresh cranberries and dried tart cherries. Spoon mixture into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. I lowered the temperature to 325F-degrees after 20 minutes. Test cake for doneness, by pressing your finger tips on the surface--the cake should spring back. (You can also insert a skewer in the center and it should come out clean). Let cake cool 5-10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a platter.
You can simply dust the top with confectioners' sugar or as I chose today, mix up a glaze and pour over the top, letting it drip down over the sides.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. Karo syrup
1 - 2 T hot water
Mix everything together, stirring thoroughly to blend.
As a final decoration, I dredge some additional cranberries in powdered meringue mixed with water, then, rolled them in sugar. Let the cranberries dry on a rack and place around the cake .
Thanksgiving has so many memories for me. It was a holiday of baking, helping my mother with every detail and setting the table with her good china. I loved being a part of it. I had just turned seven one Thanksgiving when my mother let me make up the yeast rolls for dinner. I was so proud of those rolls and it was my beginning of a love affair with yeast dough!
This bundt cake reminds me of a dessert my mother would have served, along with pumpkin, mince, and apple pie. It's going to be part of our dessert list. Enjoy!