I never, ever, ever would have made this "cake" if it wasn't for my esteemed blogging buddy Jessica of A Singleton in the Kitchen. And that would have been a real shame. Jessica, who will be faced with renaming her blog next year when she and beau Dudley get married, chose Dorie Greenspan's Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake as this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection.
I had a VERY hard time forcing myself to make this "cake." First, there's no photo in the book and I just couldn't wrap my head around how it would look. Second, although I like cranberries, I don't wake up in the morning and think "Gee, what can I make with cranberries today?" And last, the dough sounded finicky and difficult to work with. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A shortbread "cake" (I keep using quotes because it's all crust to me) surrounds a jam you make with cranberries and orange supremes. I went with a Texas pink grapefruit, both in honor of Jessica and, well, because it was what I had available. I made the super easy jam several days before I made the "cake" and tucked it away in the fridge. Last night, I checked Jessica's post (you can find it here) hoping for a photo of the completed "cake" to inspire me to make it. Yes and yes! So this morning I got up at five and started on the "cake." Surprise of surprises, I LOVED working with the dough. In fact, I plan to try this as a tart crust because I love it so much.
This recipe, except for my procrastination, was completely uneventful. Here's what I learned:
- Knowing my natural proclivity for not evenly measuring two dough halves, I weighed them on my scale.
- Jessica's "cake" looked as though she left a small border around the jam and pressed the crust closed around the jam. I liked that idea so I did the same.
- Tracey tweeted that she measured the top crust to get it the right size. I didn't do that, although I did use the ring of the springform pan to gauge it. My top crust ended up a tiny bit bigger than I wanted, so I pushed down the excess.
- Although I didn't do it this time, I am currently enamored with adding ginger to many of my recipes. I think some diced fresh ginger would make a great addition to the jam.
- I sprinkled Demerara sugar on top of the "cake" before baking.
In case you think I'm on the fence about this one, au contraire. I loved it. The tartness of the cranberries played perfectly against the sweet, crunchy pastry. It will be hard to share this one.
Jessica, thanks for a fantastic pick. I heart you, and not just because you chose this TART.
If you'd like the recipe, I have one thing to say...buy the book already! It's the best baking book, period. But if it's not in the budget this week, Jessica has the recipe for you, as well as a tasty apple version. And there are hundreds of us baking through Baking From My Home to Yours. You can find out what the other bakers thought here.
Check back next week...I'll have something exciting for you!