When fresh cranberries begin appearing in the markets every year sometime before Thanksgiving, I usually buy several pounds because we have so many favorite ways to use them – whole berry sauces, in bars and cookies, relishes, and hot salads. I love their color, the way they heap up, glistening, in a colander or on a cutting board. They are beautiful to work with, if a little frisky to chop! But I like most the delicious foods prepared with them, plus the good nutrition they offer. This year I made a tea bread, beautiful in its simplicity and dusted with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I even love the plate, one my sister gave me along with its companion book, A Cup of Christmas Tea. The title is on the plate under the cake!.
Yields 2 loaves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries, roughly chopped (fresh or dried)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar, garnish
- Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease 2 loaf pans.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
- In a large bowl or mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy. 4-5 minutes.
- Beat in egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Alternate between adding 1/3 cup of dry ingredients and 1-2 tablespoons buttermilk. Begin and end with flour mixture.
- Gently fold in chopped cranberries and pour batter into loaf pans.
- Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cool, then sift powdered sugar on top and enjoy! (But one of our loaves disappeared while it was still warm!)