Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oh Ina! (Cranberry and Apple Cake with Andrew, Tamara and Cassandra)

Over the holidays, we spent a lovely evening with Andrew and Tamara. They had a special out-of-town visitor: Cassandra!!! Yay!!

While Andrew was in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on a most amazing fish stew, the dogs were waiting for the cheese scraps to hit the floor....

And then there was the moment of realization in which the dogs knew that there'd be no cheese scraps in their future. Don't they look like the saddest pups in the world?

Mister Man wasn't sad though. No siree.

He knew that Andrew's delicious fish stew was close at hand.

And for dessert, I wanted to make something that was both seasonal and not too OTT. My brother and sister-in-law gave me the newest Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas, and inside the covers, I found the perfect recipe for a post Christmas meal: Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake.

And you know what? It WAS easy!! And it was delicious. Here's the lovely Cassandra now, modeling the first bite.

And here's the first bite before it found its way into the lovely Cassandra's mouth.

Yum. And so easy!! Here's what you need to make Ina Garten's Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake:

12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and medium-diced
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

And here's what you do with it:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.

Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a tooth-pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Or even better, serve it with vanilla ice cream!!! This really is ridiculously easy. And yummy to boot!

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