EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
EatingWell

THE MERRY BERRY

Mary Brazeau Brown’s veins practically flow with cranberry juice. Her family farm, Glacial Lake Cranberries in Cranmoor, Wisconsin, is home to some of the first commercial cranberry bogs in the state, dating back to 1873. “We have some vines that are 80 years old and still producing,” the 67-year-old says.

Wisconsin is the top cranberry-producing state, responsible for 62% of the nation’s crop. Those honors are thanks to a massive glacier that covered the middle of the state around 15,000 years ago. As it melted, water rushed through the sandstone landscape, leaving a high water table and acidic, sandy soil in its wake. That’s not a great combo for most crops, but cranberries love it. Farmers use that abundant water not only to flood the bogs for harvesting (the berries are knocked off, then float for easy collection), but also to submerge the vines in winter, which protects them from freezing.

Brown’s farm has been in her family since 1923. She considers herself a steward of the land as much as a farmer. Her 330 acres of cranberry vines are just a small part of her property, which includes more than 5,500 acres of wetlands, reservoirs and forest. “We have nesting bald eagles, migrating neotropical birds like black terns and purple martins, and fox, deer and coyotes too,” she says.

When the farm went through financial trouble in the early 2000s, people advised Brown to sell off some of the acreage. “But that’s not an option,” she says. “It’s worth keeping it one big piece. The real value is in contributing support land for wildlife and the complementary relationship that has with the cranberry farm. Hopefully that will be part of my legacy.”

Cranberry Galette with Sesame Frangipane (p.)
Only about 5% of cranberries grown in the U.S. are sold fresh. The rest are processed; most commonly, their destiny is a juice bottle.

Cranberry-Almond Thumbprints

ACTIVE: 45 min TOTAL: 1¾ hrs TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate jam (Step 1) for up to 1 week. EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper

A dip in egg white and a quick roll in sugar adds a delightfully crisp crust to these cookies. You’ll have leftover jam—perfect for spreading on toast or for glazing the galette on page.

CRANBERRY JAM

2½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (10 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
⅓ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom

COOKIES

¾ cup blanched slivered almonds
¼ cup all-purpose flour plus 6 tablespoons, divided
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon low-fat milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar

1. To prepare jam: Combine cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, water, orange juice and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ teaspoon each vanilla, cinnamon and salt and ⅛ teaspoon cardamom. Pour the jam through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl (discard solids). Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Spread almonds on one of the prepared pans and bake until just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

4. Combine the almonds and ¼ cup all-purpose flour in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, egg yolk, milk, almond extract and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture looks crumbly, then process for a few seconds until it clumps together and forms a dough.

5. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until foamy. Place granulated sugar in another small bowl and set a wire rack nearby. Divide the dough into 24 pieces and roll into 1-inch balls. Use a fork to dip each ball into the egg white, turning to coat and letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then place on the rack. Roll the balls in the sugar and divide between the prepared pans.

6. With the back of a small measuring spoon or melon baller, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Fill each with a heaping teaspoon of the jam. (You'll have about ¾ cup jam left over.)

7. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the bottoms begin to turn golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes. Transfer to a clean rack to cool completely.

MAKES: 24 cookies (1 each)

CAL 123 / FAT 6G (SAT 3G) / CHOL 18MG / CARBS 17G TOTAL SUGARS 11G (ADDED 10G) / PROTEIN 2G FIBER 1G / SODIUM 53MG / POTASSIUM 45MG.

Roasted Salmon With Spicy Cranberry Relish

ACTIVE: 30 min TOTAL: 30 min TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate relish (Step 3) for up to 1 day. EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper

This ruby-red relish gets refreshing crunch from apple and celery. It’s also delightful alongside a roast chicken or pork loin.

2½ pounds skin-on salmon fillet
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, cracked
1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (8 ounces)
1 small shallot
1 serrano pepper, seeded
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place salmon on the prepared pan. Mash garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, peppercorns and lemon zest into a paste with a fork or a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon oil and mustard. Spread on the salmon. Bake until the flesh flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, pulse cranberries, shallot and serrano in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in apple, celery, vinegar, 1 tablespoon parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt.

4. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve with the relish and lemon wedges.

SERVES 8: 4 oz. salmon & ⅓ cup relish each

CAL 229 / FAT 9G (SAT 2G) / CHOL 66MG / CARBS 8G TOTAL SUGARS 4G (ADDED 0G) / PROTEIN 29G FIBER 2G / SODIUM 452MG / POTASSIUM 603MG.

Roasted Acorn Squash With Double Cranberry Chutney

ACTIVE: 30 min TOTAL: 50 min TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate chutney (Step 3) for up to 1 week.

A tangy Indian-spiced chutney is a flavorful way to perk up simple roasted winter squash.

3 acorn squash (about 2 pounds each), seeded and cut into 2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (6 ounces)
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven; preheat to 400°F.

2. Place squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Tip each wedge onto its side. Roast, turning once halfway, until browned and tender, 30 to 40 minutes total.

3. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger with the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and mustard seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. When the seeds begin to pop, add shallot; cook, stirring, until soft, 1 to 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the spices, then add cranberries, water and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in dried cranberries.

4. Serve the squash wedges topped with the chutney, feta and cilantro.

SERVES 12: 1-2 squash wedges & 1 Tbsp. chutney each

CAL 180 / FAT 5G (SAT 2G) / CHOL 6MG / CARBS 34G TOTAL SUGARS 13G (ADDED 6G) / PROTEIN 3G FIBER 4G / SODIUM 274MG / POTASSIUM 823MG.

Click here to see a video of this cake coming together.

Apple Spice Cake With Cranberry-Mandarin Compote

ACTIVE: 50 min TOTAL: 3 hrs TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate compote (Step 1) for up to 1 week. Refrigerate whipped cream (Step 5) for up to 1 day. EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper

Apple butter and applesauce make this spice cake exceptionally moist and tender. The bright compote and billowy whipped cream provide perfect counterpoints.

COMPOTE

3 small mandarin oranges or clementines
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (8 ounces)
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves

CAKE

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup apple butter (see Tip, page 105)
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

WHIPPED CREAM

1 cup heavy cream
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To prepare compote: Zest oranges (or clementines), then peel and cut in half crosswise. Combine the fruit and zest, cranberries, ¼ cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, orange juice, fresh ginger, ⅛ teaspoon salt and a pinch each of cinnamon and cloves in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, about 2 hours. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment paper and coat the paper.

3. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, apple butter, sour cream, oil and 1½ teaspoons vanilla in another medium bowl until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.

4. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 40 minutes. Turn out onto the rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes more.

5. To prepare whipped cream: Combine heavy cream, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl. Using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat on medium-low speed until combined, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

6. To assemble: Place one cake layer on a platter. Top with a heaping ½ cup whipped cream, spreading evenly to the edges. Dollop half of the reserved compote on top and spread into an even layer. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining whipped cream on the top and sides of the cake and top with the remaining compote.

SERVES 16: 1 slice each

CAL 304 / FAT 15G (SAT 5G) / CHOL 46MG / CARBS 41G TOTAL SUGARS 26G (ADDED 20G) / PROTEIN 4G FIBER 2G / SODIUM 209MG / POTASSIUM 142MG.

Cranberry Galette With Sesame Frangipane

ACTIVE: 1 hr 35 min TOTAL: 2 hrs 35 min TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate dough (Steps 1-2) for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling. EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper

Frangipane is typically made with ground almonds but here we substitute ground sesame seeds in the form of tahini to give it a complex, earthy flavor. If you’ve made the thumbprint cookies on page, you can use some of the leftover jam in Step 9. (Photo: page 63.)

CRUST

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon, divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup ice water, plus more if needed
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash

FILLING & FRANGIPANE

2 cups cranberries, thawed if frozen (8 ounces)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup tahini
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

GLAZE

¼ cup cranberry jam or red currant jelly
¼ cup pure maple syrup
Whipped cream for serving (optional)

1. To prepare dough: Combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor. Add butter and oil and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas. While pulsing, slowly drizzle in ice water. Continue pulsing until the dough starts to form a ball. Squeeze a handful of dough: it should hold together without crumbling and shouldn’t be sticky. (If it’s crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time.)

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it into a ball, kneading a few times. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Let the dough stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 15-inch circle, ⅛ inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the filling.

4. To prepare filling: Toss cranberries with granulated sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

5. To prepare frangipane: Combine tahini, butter, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cardamom and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl. Using the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

7. To assemble galette: Spread the cranberries over the crust, leaving a 2-inch border. Spoon the frangipane over the berries. Fold the edges of the dough up over the filling, pleating as you go and pinching the seams where the dough overlaps. Freeze the galette for 10 minutes.

8. Brush the edges of the galette with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Bake until the crust is browned and the frangipane is slightly puffed and brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving platter.

9. To prepare glaze: Combine jam (or jelly) and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat just until the mixture becomes liquid, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave in a small bowl on High for 1 minute.) Brush the glaze over the filling.

10. To serve: Cut the galette into wedges and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

SERVES 16: 1 wedge each

CAL 266 / FAT 14G (SAT 5G) / CHOL 50MG / CARBS 31G TOTAL SUGARS 17G (ADDED 16G) / PROTEIN 5G FIBER 3G / SODIUM 108MG / POTASSIUM 66MG.

DANIELLE CENTONI is a writer and cookbook author based in Portland, Oregon. Her latest cookbook is Fried Rice: 50 Ways to Stir Up the World’s Favorite Grain.

STYLING: EMILY CANEER (FOOD), GLENN JENKINS (PROPS)