It’s starting to get cold in Montreal.
I had my first mitten day of the year this week. I wanted to fast-forward through the podcast I was listening to and, instead, just didn’t. My fingers were too cold. I listened to the whole commercial for stamps.com. Which sounds great, by the way, and makes me want to live in America (please, sponsor my blog).
Montreal is a cold city.
I’m from a small coastal city that, though cold, never seemed unbearably so. I got by a few winters wearing a $60, barely padded jacket and felt just fine.
My first winter in Montreal, however, I went right to The North Face and dropped some serious cash on a thick, beautiful parka. It was a great choice.
It has a ten-year warranty and makes me feel as snug as a bug, even when the wind and cold are whipping around me. Still, I’m not looking forward to dragging it out of the back of the closet.
Even though I’m not ready for winter, I’m hella prepared for winter baking.
First comes Christmas, the ultimate baking holiday. Then, it’s my birthday (and I get to make myself a cake and eat it all and no one gets to say anything). Then, it’s winter, which is a miserable hellscape, but it gives me a good excuse to stay inside on a Saturday afternoon and dream up delicious, comfort food to get through the cold months.
When I think winter baking, cranberries immediately come to mind.
Their season runs until mid-November, but that beautiful, bright red just doesn’t quit. They’re gorgeous and totally worthy of all of the lipsticks named after them.
My first, but certainly not last, bag of cranberries for the season were the stars of this pillowy, flavour-packed bread.
It has the texture of a banana bread, but tastes so tart and vibrant.
Cranberry and orange go so well together, with the walnuts making this bread just a bit heartier. I cooked the cranberries down with some butter and a bit of sugar, keeping them from being overly sour.
Instead of pure butter, I went with a combination of coconut oil and sour cream. The sour cream added a richness to the recipe, without weighing it down.
This bread is such a great mid-morning snack. Just picture a slice beside a cup of your favourite coffee. Heaven.
Cranberry orange bread
Makes one loaf
- 1 cup of cranberries
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup of sour cream
- Juice of 1/2 large orange
- Zest of one orange
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup of walnuts
- Juice of 1/2 an orange
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper or by greasing well with butter/margarine.
- In a small saucepan, cook your cranberries, butter and 1 tbsp of sugar until cranberries “pop.” You’ll know it when you see it. This will take no more than 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Mix melted coconut oil and sour cream together. Add orange juice and orange zest. Mix again. Add eggs and milk. Mix again.
- In the same bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Stir in walnuts by hand to avoid overmixing. Mix in cranberries by hand.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and place in the oven until the bread is golden on top and starts to crack. Insert a toothpick to ensure it is done and the toothpick comes out with crumbs instead of wet batter. Baking should take 35-40 minutes.
- Prepare your glaze and drizzle over the top.
- Cool. Slice. Serve!