Those red jewels are on display in grocery stores everywhere – yes, even the Netherlands and Belgium stock fresh Ocean Spray cranberries. Just as the fall leaves exchange their green hues for an explosion of color, nothing quite says autumn like those tokens of sweet and tart. With glee, I rushed home with the bag and placed it in my fridge, excited about the visions of turkey alongside blue-cheese mashed potatoes, and my to-die-for sweet potato casserole. But then I stop. It’s still October. It’s too early for my mom’s Thanksgiving cranberry jello mold! What am I going to do with a package of cranberries now, besides freeze them? Well, I tucked those little rubies into a quick bread and served them at brunch. Not only is this one of the prettiest quick breads around, it’s also tasty.
3 cups (375 g) flour
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 beaten egg
1 ⅔ (320 ml) cup milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup (100 grams) chopped cranberries
3/4 cup (110 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celcius).
Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (in Belgium, I used a 30x13x8 cm or 2.4L loaf pan).
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the egg, milk, and vegetable or sunflower oil. Mix and add egg mixture to dry mixture all at once. Stir just until combined (batter should be lumpy). Fold in orange zest, chopped cranberries, and chopped nuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in oven for 1 hour or 1 hour & 15 minutes – until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove loaf from pan. Cool completely on wire rack then wrap with plastic wrap and store overnight before slicing.