I guess I’ve finally gotten around to cooking from November magazines. This quick bread was in the November issue of Living, and the title alone made me want to bake it. Cranberry and cornmeal sounded like a great combination. Then, I read on into the recipe. I admit to having several food issues with ingredients that I usually avoid. One of those many issues is with crystallized ginger. I don’t even know why. I like ginger in both sweet and savory applications, and nibbling on crystallized ginger is perfectly fine. For some reason though, when baked goods include chopped crystallized ginger, I often omit it. Well, I decided to get over it and just go with the original intent of this recipe. At last, my mind might have been changed forever about this ingredient. The little bits of chewy, gingery goodness throughout the loaf were lovely in the cornmeal crumb.
A sauce was made from cranberries, melted butter, and sugar. That mixture was cooked until the cranberries started to pop, and at that point, the sauce had thickened. Fresh cranberries were suggested, but I used frozen, and they worked perfectly fine. I also added a few extra cranberries just because I love their tart flavor. The cranberries and sauce were transferred to a loaf pan and left to cool. The batter was made from butter, sugar, eggs, and a whisked together mixture of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, the chopped crystallized ginger was folded into the batter. Something that worked well for me was to toss the chopped crystallized ginger with a small amount of flour. That way, the pieces didn’t stick all together in one clump in the middle of the batter. The thick batter with well-distributed chopped crystallized ginger was spooned over the cranberries and carefully smoothed. The loaf baked for about 35 minutes.
My only complaint is that my quick bread didn’t rise to the nice, tall height seen in the magazine photo. I’m not sure why it didn’t since I used the same size pan and same quantities of ingredients in the batter. My baking powder is brand new too. Other than that minor quibble, I was very pleased with this. The cooled loaf was turned out to allow the cranberries to sit on top like jewels. It was sweet and tart and the cornmeal and crystallized ginger flavors worked together very well. And, just like that, I might be over my crystallized ginger thing.