“Cranberries, known far and wide as Cape Cod’s ‘super fruit,’ are so good for you and also a great ingredient for just about any course on a holiday menu,” says Paul Cunningham, executive chef at Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee. Cunningham, former executive chef at Bice Ristorante in Washington, D.C., executive sous chef at Le Cirque and La Cote Basque in New York, and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has been the top chef at Willowbend for 20 years.
Just in time for the holidays, we share some of Chef Cunningham’s favorite recipes featuring fresh local cranberries. The berries shown in Cunningham’s basket (opposite) were actually gathered from bogs on Willowbend’s spectacular landscape, on the shores of Mashpee’s Shoestring Bay.
Cranberry Orange Scones
|• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour||• 8 ounces dried cranberries|
|•1 teaspoon baking soda||•1 teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped|
|•1 tablespoon baking powder||•1 tablespoon vanilla extract|
|•pinch of salt||•1 cup buttermilk or heavy cream|
|•1/4 cup sugar|
|•6 ounces unsalted butter|
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
2. In a medium size-mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well. Add butter and mix until the consistency is that of a fine meal. Add cranberries and orange zest and mix.
3. Mix together the vanilla extract and buttermilk or heavy cream. Pour over dry ingredients and mix just until coming together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead a few times. Roll or pat out to ¾-inch thick and cut into 3-inch round scones.
4. Place scones on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush each scone with a small amount of heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown in color.
Yields approximately eight 3-inch round scones.