kayelene's cranberry slice

Craving Cranberries. I’ve been trying to understand why this anti-oxidant packed super berry isn’t growing somewhere in Australia.  A native to North America, surely there are parts of Australia with marshes and bogs where we can grow, flood and harvest these beauties.  Our progressive farmers have managed to produce almost every other crop amidst drought and flooding rains.

I relent. The only imported fruit I EVER buy is dried cranberry. A big juicy bag of American cranberries from my local health food shop about once a month. 3 billion cranberries (really...how can they count/weigh that many!) are harvested each year in the US and exported round the world. 

Has anyone around Australia tried to grow them?  I’d love to hear from you. My guess is we have our own Australian native bush berry we could use as a substitute in this recipe and lots of others.  I’ll check with Juleigh Robins, author of Wild food and see what she suggests. Will post a follow-up.

This recipe comes from pastry chef Kayelene Carruthers, an amazing lady I had the pleasure of working with a few years ago.  Her vast experience, fresh ideas and passion for produce was always on display in her beautiful baking.  

Ingredients -  2 cups rolled oats ❤ 1 cup desiccated coconut ❤ 1 cup raw sugar ❤ ½ cup oat bran ❤ ½ cup wholemeal plain flour ❤ ⅓  cup sunflower seeds ❤ 1 tablespoon each of poppyseeds and sesame seeds ❤ ½ teaspoon cinnamon ❤ ½ cup cranberries (+ a small handful for decorating if desired) ❤ lemon rind ❤ 2 free range eggs ❤ 125 grams butter, at room temperature ❤ ½ cup grapeseed oil (but Canola or Olive Oil also works!) ❤ ½ cup greek style yoghurt ❤ 1 teaspoon bi carb soda dissolved in ½ tablespoon of hot water

Method + Tips - Preheat oven to moderate 180°C (350°F). Grease and line bottom and sides of 24/26cm square or rectangular slice tin with baking paper, leaving a couple of inches above the sides to help lift slice out when cooled.

Combine oats, coconut, bran, sugar, flour, seeds, spices and lemon rind in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or toss to combine. 

Add soft butter and rub through mixture with your fingertips until combined. Add oil and stir in with a wooden spoon. Beat eggs well and add to mixture. Fold through beaten eggs and yoghurt.  Dissolve bi carb soda in hot water and add to mix.

Once all well combined, spoon into prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until set in centre and golden brown. When cold, cut into long fingers or triangles with a hot sharp knife and serve.

Ice with lemon drizzle if desired - refer to lime poppyseed muffin recipe and just replace lime juice and rind with lemon. Top with extra cranberries if you wish.

Cute Paper Eskimo straws, party bags, muffin papers and serviettes available at The Deck Cafe Currumbin Beach and good kitchenware stores around Australia.

More food for thought for cranberry lovers - Savoury fruit-and-nut breads have become a fabulous, tasty alternative to savoury quiches or pies. Perfect served with soft cheeses for lunch. I’ll post my favourite Cranberry, Zucchini & Walnut Bread recipe soon. Don’t forget to add cranberries and local berries to your porridge in the morning or bircher muesli. My Saturday Bircher is soaking overnight in the fridge.

For fans of What Katie Ate If you missed this month’s Delicious Magazine, you may not have heard the news re. Katie Quinn Davies.  Katie, top food photographer and blogger has joined Delicious Mag as a regular contributor. Congratulations Katie - very well deserved. I can’t wait for the first Katie cookbook to be released in October! 

Don't forget to vote in the Delicious 2012 Food Produce Awards. Great prizes!

The other terrific Delicious snippet was the launch of website Local Harvest - a brilliant concept. A very handy tool designed to help us make local food choices and discover what’s new and happening in our local foodie communities. Just enter your postcode for lots of inspiration.

More for champions of local produce & bushfoods - try wattleseed as a flavouring in coffee, biscuits, custard, chocolate and hazelnut dishes. Replace pinenuts in pesto with macadamias or bunya nuts, use lemon myrtle instead of oregano and thyme and don't forget the Aussie finger limes in season right now for your desserts. Have a terrific weekend. Susie