We posted a shot of this on Facespace and the Twitmachine the other day. We'd made it for Mark's book group--and he teasingly wondered if he should post the recipe.
Well, here 'tis. This one's a rich, buttery coffee cake with what seems like a mound of jam folded into it. You actually get the job done with a somewhat unorthodox technique. First, you make a cranberry/orange/rum compote and cool it a bit; then you make the buttery batter, get it in the pan, and spread this compote over the top. As it bakes, the cranberry mixture sinks into the cake, becoming thick ribbons of jam in the crumb. Now doesn't that sound good?
This recipe is slightly adapted from our 900-recipe tome, THE ULTIMATE COOK BOOK. Click on that link if you want your own copy. But for now, here's the coffee cake recipe:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen, thawed)
- 1 cup canned crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, drained
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons gold or white rum
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting the pan
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool, unsalted butter, cut into small bits, plus additional for greasing the pan
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup regular, plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup whole or low-fat milk
1. Place 1 1/2 cups cranberries in a food processor; process until finely choppped. Scrape into a medium saucepan; add the remaining whole cranberries as well as the pineapple, brown sugar, rum, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the whole berries pop and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, position the rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 375F. Lightly butter and flour the inside of a 9-inch round springform pan or a 9-inch round high-sided baking pan (not just a standard cake pan).
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl until uniform. Set aside.
4. Beat the granulated white sugar and the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes, maybe a little longer if you're working with a hand-held mixer or the butter was cold. Scrape down the insides of the bowl; add the egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth, then beat in the yogurt and milk until smooth.
5. Scrape down and remove the beaters. Fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula just until thoroughly moistened, no dry pockets in the batter, but a somewhat grainy texture. Scrape and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon and spread the cranberry mixture over the batter, making an even layer to the edges.
6. Bake until the cake is set when shaken, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center part without touching fruit comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes, maybe a little longer based on the ambient moisture content of some of the ingredients. Set on a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour before unlatching the sides of the springform pan, if using. Slice into wedges to serve.
TIP: Cool butter? Not exactly cold from the fridge but definitely below room temperature. Our best advice is to take the butter out, cut into into small bits, and set these aside in the bowl on the counter for 10 minutes. Cool butter traps air to create a cake's structure (that is, its crumb) better than room-temp butter. Want to know why? Check out our book LOBSTERS SCREAM WHEN YOU BOIL THEM AND A HUNDRED OTHER MYTHS ABOUT FOOD AND COOKING.