MATSUNOSUKE - Akiko Hirano's Pie & Cake

Cake Diaries


January - Apple Pie Healing
The Bitter Cold of New England

February - Chocolate Brownies
Valentine’s Day

March - Maple Syrup Cheese Cake
Massachusetts Maple Syrup Factory

April - Boston Cream Pie
Boston and Boston Bags

May - Giant Decoration Cake
The Star of the Graduation Party

June- Bake Sale
Labor, Reward and Fun!

July - Strawberry Shortcake
Independence Day

August - Cranberry Bread
Farmer's Market

September - Muffins
Memories of a College Student

October - Punpkin Pie

November - Indian Pudding

December - Fruit Cake

August- Cranberry Bread

August in New England already begins to feel like the beginning of Autumn. At that time of the year, when fruits and vegetables are ripening in the last rays of summer's sun, Farmer’s Markets are held all over the place.

At the church parking lot near Connecticut University where I was studying at the time, five or six local farmers hurriedly put up street stalls to sell their home-made produce. Corn, strawberries, peaches and home-made bread were some of the items on sale.

In America bread is not the same as what we in Japan would think. Anything baked in a loaf is called bread. Cranberry Bread baked full of summer cranberries is something I often bought and enjoyed. I often felt like I should call it `cake` instead of `bread`!

As their name suggests, cranberries are in the family of berries. They are shiny, crimson red and are just slightly larger than Japanese rhodea (Plant of the lily family). North New England is one of the major producers of cranberries. They are as beautiful as jewels but are hard and sour to eat raw. Therefore people bake them in cakes, I mean, bread!

Lightly mix eggs, butter, sugar and flour until they are just barely combined. Add some cranberries which shine like rubies. Then add some walnuts to give it a milder taste. Pour this dough into a loaf tin and bake in the oven. When you begin to smell the sweet-sour fragrance of the cranberries it is just about done.

Sun-ripened cranberries develop their flavor even more in the heat of the oven. Even the hardest of cranberries won't resist the blade of the knife when cutting a freshly-baked loaf. The fresh sour after-taste helps bring together the fullness of the rich sweet bread.

Farmer's Markets disappear in the twinkling of an eye with the start of Autumn. Try some cranberry bread in the last embers of summer - it is perfect with either black or herbal tea. Slice the bread into a thick slice and enjoy it with strongly brewed tea. When I look close enough at the leaves on the trees outside the window, I noticed them started to change color.

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