This is an unusual but delightfully good dessert. It’s bright red and pretty. The sweet apples temper the tartness of the cranberries. We made this with a can of apple pie filling so it was quick and easy.
For the filling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 large orange
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh, whole cranberries
1 21-ounce apple pie filling
For the topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Grate the zest from the orange and set aside. Juice the orange.
- For the filling, mix together the 3/4 cup sugar, spice, 1/2 cup of the orange juice, water, and cranberries in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Mash the fruit with a spatula. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for five minutes or until the filling has thickened somewhat. Set aside to cool.
- For the topping, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the cold butter in with a pastry knife until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Stir in the zest. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the buttermilk all at once. Stir until just moistened.
- Stir the apple pie filling into the cranberry mixture. Spoon the filling into a nine- or ten-inch diameter pan or a nine-inch square pan. Place scoops of batter on the filling in even rows.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is well browned. Cool on a wire rack. Serve plain or with ice cream.
Why it works: There is no natural thickener in the filling. The natural pectin from the mashed cranberries will thicken it.