During the holidays, Trader Joe’s is a minefield of treats, from Peppermint Joe Joe’s to chocolate advent calendars to Jingle Jangle candy-pretzel mix. You almost have to put on blinders to avoid filling your basket. In the frozen section, I stumbled on Nantucket Cranberry Pie, which looked a bit like upside down cake (theirs had the cranberry layer on top). But given my pretty meh luck lately with their frozen desserts, I grabbed a bag of cranberries and said, I can make that.
What’s great about Nantucket Cranberry Pie is that it’s a cake. It has more in common with a fruit crisp or cobbler, with a layer of cake batter on top of tangy, soon-to-be jammy fruit. Putting it together is just a matter of layering chopped cranberries, nuts and sugar (and of course, butter), and then mixing the batter. The cake is scented with a hint of almond extract, and in this case, just that 1/4 teaspoon makes a big difference in flavor. Adding more vanilla just isn’t the same. Sparkling sugar gives it a little holiday flair.
My only tweak to the King Arthur Flour recipe was to use hazelnuts instead of walnuts. I’ve kinda had a thing for cranberries and hazelnuts this year.
Top it with a dollop of whipped cream. If you’ve got company coming, or you just want to be fancy, make some candied orange peel to garnish.