Sunday, December 16, 2007

Book Club and a Recipe

Friday we met at Ursula's new home for our Christmas luncheon and discussion of The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak). Normally we meet at the Milford Public Library...practical, but not as much fun. Everyone who read the book, loved it, even though Death is the narrator.

My contribution to the lunch was Nantucket Cranberry Pie. A big hit and I promised to share the recipe. It is simple to make and has a festive air about it - perfect for this time of year. The recipe comes from an old Gourmet magazine article by Laurie Colwin. It was published posthumously in 1992 as part of a series of her articles. I mention this because her work is still published today, 15 years after her sudden death at age 48. To read Laurie Colwin is like having a chat with your life-long, best friend in the whole world. I'm not trying to be sappy here, but I cried when I read of her death. If you are not familiar with her, google her name. Top chefs today consider her a guiding light. She was/is one of my all time favorite writers and I have read and re-read her books. There is a wonderful article about her here and another one here.

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

I guess they call it a pie because you bake it in a pie plate, but it really is a cake. I like to make it in a 9" cake pan. I dust it with confectioners sugar and put a little sweetened whipped cream on each piece.


Unsalted butter, to grease the pie plate
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (don't thaw if frozen)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


2 eggs
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the cranberries in a buttered, 10-inch pie plate. Toss the sugar and walnuts over the berries.

In a mixing bowl, cream the eggs and the butter with the sugar. Add the flour and almond extract to the mixture, lightly tossing with a fork.

Pour the topping over the cranberry mixture and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Yield: makes a single cake layer - 8 servings

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