I haven't made much of this. It came and went so fast my head is spinning. But, after a long break, I finished another cookbook. And it's in bookstores now!
One day last summer I told a friend I probably wouldn't write another cookbook, and she said, never say never. You don't know what is going to happen.
And that is the lesson learned, my friends. We don't like to acknowledge how little control we actually have over our lives. It is just too damn scary--especially for us the-sky-is-gonna-fall anxiety types. The upside is that what is right around the corner might be a good thing, a challenge we can embrace and celebrate.
Which brings me to this book. It came to me from a friend who passed on it, but recommended me to the publisher (Globe Pequot Press in Connecticut.) I had no ambitions to write a single subject book, or another book for that matter. This one was to be a quick turnaround, no time to wait for cranberry season, but I decided to go for it. One of the best challenges for me was that I would be able to shoot all the photos myself. So it's a first, but not the last, as it turns out. More books are in the works, but I'll let you know when I sign on the dotted line.
This cake recipe is a sleeper, but one you must have in your pocket over the summer. Cranberries (frozen are fine) are tart and fabulous in this cake, but substitute other fruits as the summer progresses: apples, pears, plums, especially plums, peaches, even grapes would be good in this cake.
Cranberry Almond Skillet Cake
Makes one 10-inch cake
Butter (for the pan)
2/3 cup whole, unblanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into slices
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
Confectioner’s sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 10-inch skillet with a heatproof handle.
2. In a food processor, grind the almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar until fine. Set aside 1/4 cup of the almond-sugar mixture for the topping.
3. In a bowl, whisk the remaining almond-sugar mixture, the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended.
4. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar together for 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the vanilla.
5. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thick. Scrape it into the pan, spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon.
6. Distribute the cranberries over the cake and sprinkle with the reserved almond sugar.
7. Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs still clinging to the skewer. Set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and cut into wedges.
Find the cranberry cookbook on Amazon THE CRANBERRY COOKBOOK