Living in Virginia, I really enjoy the four seasons. They are so much more than just changing weather. The seasons signify mother earth’s cycles of renewal and replenishment. And cooking seasonally is a way of celebrating that. It is so easy to pick up the same old potatoes, carrots and tomatoes every time you go grocery shopping. But if you are thinking about cooking whats in season, you’ll discover all sorts of fruits and vegetables – rutabaga, dandelion greens, kohlrabi and so much more. Now, I’m not someone that cooks with seasonal produce all the time. I have no problem buying that unseasonal pineapple that traveled here all the way from Hawaii.
I picked up a beautiful packet of fresh cranberries at the market. Why consume cranberries that were canned or dried and packaged months ago when I can try them fresh and unprocessed?
I’ve never tried fresh cranberries before, but I wanted to use them in Ina Garten’s Blueberry Crumb cake recipe instead of the blueberries. It turned out perfectly. The cranberries were ruby red and had just the right amount of tartness. The crumb topping with butter and brown sugar was just magical.
I made a few changes to Ina’s recipe:
I cut the sugar in half – Ina’s recipes are fabulous, but always a bit too sweet for me
Used 1/2 cup cranberries instead of the 1 cup blueberries the recipe calls for
Used orange zest instead of lemon zest
If you use mini cheese cake pans or muffin pans, the cakes will cook in about 20 minutes (Ina’s recipe calls for 50 minutes baking time in a cake pan).
Ina’s original recipe is here.
I also decided to make the crumb cakes into crumb cake minis. I was itching to use the new Norpro Mini cheesecake pan that I won. Yes, I won it! The wonderful Mari, at Once upon a Plate Blog had a random drawing and I was one of three winners! Mari is a passionate cook and her blog is full of beautiful food. She sent me the mini cheesecake pan a few days ago and I decided to make the crumb cake in it. It turned out perfectly.