My love affair with cranberries started years ago when Trader Joe's was an upstart company and I'd buy dried cranberries every chance my minimum wage job (and poor savings skills) allowed. Around that time, a friend gave me a recipe from a magazine for pumpkin cranberry bread. I think I've modified it enough to call it my own. This is my go-to gift item for friends and collegues at Christmas. One year I made 18 mini loaves. I've scaled it back since then.
I've made two double batches this year, the last batch last night, during the Winter Solstice. We spent the evening with all the lights off and the tv off. We listened to music and just relaxed in a candle lit house.
This recipe is pretty fast and loose. The ingredient list is what you need to make two 9x5 inch loaves or four mini loaves. I've also made a couple notes to help if you want to double it. My pictures are all of a double batch.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 a small jar of pumpkin spice
* I think this is about 2 TB but I just dump an entire 1.12 oz (31g) jar into my double
* I use McCormick spice
2 tsp double acting baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
* the three eggs makes it a more moist bread
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups (15 oz can) of Libby's Pure pumpkin
* When I double it, I just use the jumbo 29 oz can... I figure that it's close enough
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 - 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened, natural cranberries
* I do not used dried cranberries, as the bread is more moist with frozen/fresh berries
* I do not use sweetened cranberries as this will make it saccharin-sweet
* I totally eyeball the amount. For a double batch, I used about 1.5 bags of cranberries. I
covered the mix in a layer of cranberries in the bowl you see above.
Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
* I add half the flour, then the pumpkin spice. I don't know if this matters, but I imagine
that this ensures it's mixed better in the final product.
Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and vegetable oil in a samll mixer bowl. Beat just until blended.
* I use a hand mixer.
Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. (I used the hand mixer again)
Fold in cranberries.
Spoon batter into greased and floured pans.
* When I need it, I used the baking spray from Trader Joes that has both combined.
* If you're gluten intolerant, I recommend stoneware. I don't grease the stoneware
and the loaves pop right out.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on the top. It really does taste better to do this before you bake the bread.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake 55 - 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
* In my mini loaf pan, it takes 55 minutes, in the 9x5 pans, it takes 65 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes, remove and place on wire racks... you know the drill ;~)
I'm thinking after we are back from Christmas festivals, I may try to make a single batch with gluten free flour. I'll let you know how it goes.
I hope you had the chance to enjoy the Winter Solstice. We missed the full moon and eclipse. I think it was cloudy and rainy. I say I think because I thought the eclipse was on the night of the full moon, not realizing it was at 3 a.m. on the 21st. Oh well, I'll catch the next one in 400 years...