Janet's Notebook
Cranberries Serve Up Tradition and Innovation This Holiday Season

Blue Ribbon Cranberry Cream Torte

"I have always loved cranberries!" exclaims home cook Carol Junkins of Hanson, MA. Fondly referred to by us at Just A Pinch as "The Cranberry Queen", Carol has shared many of her favorite cranberry recipes with the Club. Her concoctions range from sweet to savory, and every one is jam-packed with wonderful berry flavor.

Carol is a three-time Blue Ribbon award winner and, you guessed it, each of her winning recipes feature cranberries as the starring ingredient! "I grew up in New England," explains Carol. "The town I live in was home to the first Ocean Spray factory. I have pictures of them harvesting them!"

A life-long love of cranberry is something Carol shares with two very special friends. Her Blue Ribbon Cranberry Cream Torte recipe tells the story. "I received this recipe from my best friend, [Judi], whom I have known since grammar school!" explains Carol. In fact, the recipe can be credited back to Judi's mom, Marjorie Castle, who made the cranberry torte every year as a Thanksgiving treat. After hearing so much about it, Carol was thrilled to receive the recipe and anxious to share it with others on Just A Pinch. Now in her nineties, Marjorie’s refrigerator proudly displays the Blue Ribbon that Carol won on her behalf - a testament to a lasting recipe... and an enduring friendship.

Wisconsin home cook Mary Louise also knows a thing or two about delicious cranberries. She has her grandmother to thank for her favorite cranberry recipe, Ellie's Cranberry Cake with Lemon Butter Sauce. "This is a very old recipe that belonged to my grandmother," says Mary. The light cake is filled with bold flavor that really punctuates the ending of any good meal. "This cake has to be served with the lemon butter sauce or you can not fully enjoy it. It is easy to make and perfect to share with friends and a cup of coffee or tea."

V. Seward of Hanford, CA is starting her own - no bake - cranberry tradition, Cranberry-Pineapple Salad! “My guests ask, ‘Is it a salad or dessert?’" laughs Ms. Seward. Her reply? “It's definitely both!” Indeed, this creamy, fruity delight transcends definition. The recipe combines the sweetness of pineapple and whipped topping with the tartness of cranberries. Toss in a few salty walnuts, crunchy celery and a healthy amount of cream cheese and you have one decadent dessert salad to remember. “I like to experiment with salads,” explains the inventive cook. “[I was] craving something creamy, crunchy and packed with flavor, so I came up with this dreamy delight. It can be served right alongside anything from chicken, turkey, ham, roast - you name it.” We named it all right… a Blue Ribbon! This is one holiday tradition that we can’t wait to start this year as well.

We simply love the idea of including generational quality recipes like this at our holiday table. Cranberries may be a traditional Thanksgiving treat, but they truly can be made even more special when there's a real story - and a real cook - behind them.

What is your favorite way to dress up cranberries for the holidays? We can't wait to hear your ideas!

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Carol Junkins - Nov 21, 2011
Your welcome Josi, hope you and your family enjoy it !
Happy Thanksgiving to you !!!!!
Josi Overstreet - Nov 21, 2011
thank you, finally got the recipe. I'm ready to make it for Thanksgiving. Be Blessed all.
Carol Junkins - Nov 21, 2011
Teresa if you click on the highlighted recipe in the article it will bring you right to it. Or Click this: Cranberry Cream Torte
Teresa Guante - Nov 21, 2011
The Blueberry Cranberry Cream torte recipe that is, I can't seem to get it. I just keep reading how wonderful it is! :)
Teresa Guante - Nov 21, 2011
Where's the recipe?
Carol Junkins - Nov 19, 2011
Mary I have one recipe for cranberry pie with almond flavoring in it:
Apple Cranberry Raspberry Pie
Hope this will help.
Mary Lou Parsons - Nov 18, 2011
My favorite cranberry recipe is cranberry pie. It is an old New England recipe shared with me by a friend who was the librarian in the local grade school where I taught for about 28 years till retiring. We share the same name, Mary Lou. I think I still have the recipe but cannot lay my hands on it quickly. So I will ask if anyone has a cranberry pie recipe. It had several eggs beaten light and sugar added, cranberries and walnuts, flavored with almond flavoring. I am hoping to share it here if I find it later on this week. I am looking forward to the recipe sharing etc. and just being part of a cook's forum.
Carol Junkins - Nov 18, 2011
Josi all you have to do is double click on the mention of the recipe in the article that is highlighted. You could put the name of it in the search bar and double click as well. I will give you the link right now, so just double click on the link below and your there: Cranberry Cream Torte
Cranberry Lemon Crumble Cake
Josi Overstreet - Nov 18, 2011
I have looked everywhere on this site to find recipe. but cannot find it. where is it hidden? lol
Anna Sciancalepore Antoniello - Nov 18, 2011
Great idea Holly! I'll have to try it next time. :D
Holly Cario - Nov 18, 2011
Hi all...I was just reading about the cranberries and at the bottom of the post it asks for ways to dress up the berries. I carefully fold in to ready made whole cranberry sauce,a can of apple pie filling. It taste so good. Give it a try and let me know what you think.Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Georgane Vann - Nov 18, 2011
I am going to make a cranberry "sauce" with apples and canned cherries, Not pie filling, unsweetened cherries, and granny smith apples, sugar, cinnamon, and probably some orange juice. Maybe some fresh ginger.. I have not decided.. lol
Carol Junkins - Nov 17, 2011
Thank you Dorene, it sure has been fun !
Dorene Nagy - Nov 17, 2011
Congratulations Carol.
Angela Gray - Nov 17, 2011
Love you Ms. Carol !