Orange Cranberry Pound Cake

  • 1 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 c fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 1/3 c all-purpose flour, double sifted
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t orange extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 12 oz whole, fresh cranberries (frozen is fine)

Cream the butter and sugar together until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one to add in as much air as possible. Add in the extracts, orange juice, and zest and mix until just combined.

Sift about 2 cups of flour into a bowl and then measure from that your 2 1/3 c of flour back into your sifter, Or you can whisk up your flour container to lighten up your flour and then gently measure from that your 2 1/3 c into your sifter. You want your flour to be as light and airy as possible or else you will add in too much flour and weigh down your cake.
Mix in your salt with your flour with a whisk.

In 3 batches, add your flour into your wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined, 15-20 seconds. Add in your cranberries. If they’re frozen you’ll probably want to mix them in with a wooden spoon because they will chill your batter and make it hard to mix in. If mixing in fresh berries, use a spatula so you don’t rupture too many of them.

Bake at 325°F for 60-75 minutes in a well greased loaf pan or small tube pan, or until a cake tester comes out clean (though you’ll get juiciness from the cranberries).

Mango-Pineapple Sorbet

4 ripe ataulfo mangoes*
1 large very ripe pineapple
juice of 2 large lemons
1/4 t kosher salt
1 1/4 c white sugar
1/3 C light corn syrup

Cut the cheeks off the mangoes and scrape the flesh out with a spoon and place into a bowl. Chop the pineapple into 2″ chunks and add to mango. Juice the lemons and sieve the juice to get rid of any seeds or large bits of pith. In 2-3 batches, add the fruit to a blender and add in 1/3-1/2 of the lemon juice to each batch. Purée until very smooth. Pass the purée through a fine mesh sieve to extract the mango and pineapple fibres, using a large spoon to push and stir it around to extract as much juice as possible. You should end up with less than 1/4 C of fibrous pulp and around 3-4 C of thick purée. Add in the sugar, corn syrup and salt and whisk until totally dissolved. You shouldn’t need to heat this at all to get it to dissolve.

Chill in the freezer, stirring every 30 min or so until very cold: 30-32F. Place in a ice cream maker and churn until the paddle won’t turn any more. Place in freezer and freeze for a couple hours to firm it up. It is very important that your purée be as cold as you can get it w/o it freezing before starting to churn it if you have the kind of ice cream maker that contains a frozen pack and isn’t self-freezing because your sorbet won’t freeze before the ice pack gets too warm if you don’t.

*or whatever mango you can find. I used these as they’re more flavourful, have a smaller pit (and therefore more fruit) than standard mangoes. They’re ripe when they’re dark yellow-orange and slightly wrinkled skin.

Homemade Citrus Ginger Beer

1 lb fresh ginger, washed and coarsely chopped
juice and zest of 2 lemons
juice and zest of 2 limes
2 C white sugar
2 C light brown sugar
enough water to add to the lemon & lime juice to make 3 C liquid

Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Stir to combine the sugar slightly. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sugar syrup is highly flavoured with the ginger and citrus. Pour through a very fine sieve and refrigerate.

To make ginger beer: Add cold syrup into glass. For a 12 oz glass a couple tablespoons will likely do nicely, but this is definitely to taste. Top with very cold soda water. Stir. Drink. Ice is optional.

This is a great cocktail mixer and goes great with: dark rum for a dark & stormy, gin, vodka, even tequila.

Makes about 1 – 1 1/4 quarts of syrup depending on how much liquid you boil off.

Sake Orange Cocktail with Ginger

5 oz of good, junmai grade sake
2 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz ginger syrup
4 dashes orange bitters
very thinly sliced orange and lime slices for garnish

In a large shaker mostly filled with ice, combine all the above ingredients and shake well. Strain into chilled cocktail (martini) glasses and garnish with lime and orange slices. Serves two.

Alternatively, you could serve this on the rocks in a highball glass and top with soda water for a great fizzy drink.

ginger syrup:
1/2 lb of ginger (about two large pieces)
2c. sugar
2c. water

Chop washed ginger in food processor. Add to water and sugar and simmer on low for about an hour. Strain and pour into a bottle, cool.

Minty Lemon-Limeade

4 large springs spearmint
4 large springs lemon balm/melissa
1 C fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 C fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C warm water
5-6 C cold water, depending on how strong you like your lemonade

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water, adding more water if needed to dissolve. Muddle the mint and lemon balm in your pitcher and add in the sugar water and citrus juices. Mix well. Top of with as much very cold water as you want. This is great made a little stronger (i.e. less cold water) and then diluted with some sparkling water right before serving.

Also, instead of about a 2 cups of the water you could add in some plain or lemon vodka and/or even replace some of the sugar with limoncello liqueur for a more adult drink. On the rocks, topped off with fresh lemon slice and mint spring and soda water, this makes an amazing cocktail.

Limoncello Tom Collins

2 oz gin
½ oz limoncello
½ oz fresh lime or lemon juice
½ oz syrup
lime or lemon slices
lemon balm (opt)
sparkling water (opt)

I’ve made this cocktail two ways. The second is more of a gin Mojito. Depending on how sweet you like your cocktails, you might want to omit the ½ oz of simple syrup.

1) Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add in the gin, limoncello and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass, add a few ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lime or lemon.

2) Muddle several sprigs of lemon balm and lime slices in a highball glass. Add the gin and limoncello and mix well. Add several ice cubes and then top with soda water to taste.