NORTHERN IRELAND TOURIST BOARD
Ireland Hopping | Margaret M. Johnson
Thanksgiving 2018 might be in our rearview mirror, but cranberries, always synonymous with that holiday, are gearing up for an encore for the upcoming Christmas season. In Ireland, they’ll snuggle up next to the beloved Christmas turkey or goose in a sauce, compote, or chutney (for a chutney with a ‘kick’ try them in mostarda to serve with cheese), but they’re also delicious in a stuffing for baked pears and in quick breads to serve with tea or coffee. You’ll find lots of cranberry recipes in both “Flavors of Ireland” and “Christmas Flavors” of Ireland; signed copies available on www.irishcook.com.
MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup diced apple
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1.In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring cranberries, water, brown sugar, dates, celery, apple, onion, crystalized ginger, and lemon juice, to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cranberries burst and mixture thickens; stir occasionally.
2.Let cool, uncovered, and then transfer to covered container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days; return to room temperature and sprinkle with walnuts at serving time.
OLEG DOROSHENKO | DREAMSTIME.COM
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1.In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring wine and sugar to a boil. Add pears and 1/2 bag of cranberries; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cranberries burst and pears begin to soften. Stir in remaining 1/2 bag cranberries and return to boil. 2. Remove from heat and stir in mustard seeds, dry mustard, and pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Let cool, uncovered, and then transfer to covered container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days; return to room temperature before serving.
CRANBERRY-BLUE CHEESE STUFFED PEARS
3 firm-ripe pears, peeled and halved lengthwise
1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled Cashel Blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries, plus more for garnish
1/4 chopped walnuts
1/2 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons port
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
Mixed greens, for serving
Olive oil, for drizzling
Lemon juice, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 375°F. With a melon baller or spoon, core the pear and hollow out a small round for filling; sprinkle with a lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Arrange pears in a baking dish large enough to hold them snugly.
- In a small bowl, mix cheese, cranberries, and walnuts; spoon filling into center of each pear.
- In a small bowl, whisk cider, port, and brown sugar; pour over pears. Bake, basting occasionally with juices, for about 30 minutes, or until pears are tender.
- Remove pears with slotted spoon and let cool; reserve juices. Arrange mixed greens on six salad plates; put a pear on top. Drizzle a little olive oil, lemon juice, and reserved juices over and around the greens and pears. Garnish with a few cranberries and season with salt and pepper.
MAKES 2 LOAVES
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 firm-ripe pears (peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two 7-inch loaf pans with non-stick baking spray with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger.
- In another bowl, beat butter, sugar, and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, vanilla, lemon and orange zests. Beat flour into butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Stir in pears, cranberries, and walnuts (if using).
- Transfer to prepared pans and bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes; invert onto rack and return to upright. Cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into slices.
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CRANBERRY-NUT TEA BREAD
MAKES 1 LOAF
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine cranberries, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar; fold into batter. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes; invert onto rack and return to upright. Cool completely.
Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page now includes “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, including how to order her cookbooks, visit www.irishcook.com.