Pumpkin and apple get a lot of play this time of year. Not that I’m complaining, by any means. Pumpkin anything and apple crisp/pie are my jam. But cranberry gets only a fraction of the recognition that it deserves. I made these bars for a potluck-style early Thanksgiving celebration, and then took the leftovers to work. If cranberry just really isn’t your thing, I bet these would be great with other berries. Raspberry, maybe?
This recipe comes from Deb Perelman’s lovely cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
For the crumb –
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 2 sticks butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 large egg
For the filling –
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 tbs orange juice
- 3 cups fresh cranberries (or 12-oz. bag)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbs cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Butter the sides and parchment, or spray with cooking spray, and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices. Pulse a couple of times until everything is combined. Add the butter and egg to the flour mixture. Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal.
Taking half of the crumb mixture, pat it into the bottom of your prepared pan. It will be on the thin side.
Rinse the food processor. In the same bowl, add the filling ingredients and pulse briefly. Do this until the berries are coarsely chopped but not puréed. Spread this mixture evenly over the crumb base.
Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over top of the cranberry layer.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crumbs on top are lightly browned. Allow it to cool completely before cutting it into squares.