Hi everyone, and thank you for inviting me. This sounds like a great way to gain new recipes that I can try.
So here is a family favorite, which I recently found still works quite well if you want to make it vegan, and substitute the butter for vegan butter. Margarine on the other hand, while it tastes fine, for some reason does not bind well and your cranberry square will be very difficult to cut and serve because the bottom will not hold together well.
The cranberry filling recipe can be used to make cranberry sauce, which, you can make for a dinner, or preserve by putting it into sterile canning jars.
The crumble topping can also be used for a variety of crumbles and squares, from date squares, to apple or peach crunbles. So this recipe has a lot of potential for variation.
Cranberry Squares Ingredients
Dry Ingredients for crumble layers:
1 ½ Cup of All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Cup of Oatmeal
1 ¼ Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Softened Butter
½ Teaspoon of Baking Soda
Wet Ingredients: (This on its own is a great recipe for homemade cranberry sauce for turkey/chicken dinners)
3 cups of fresh,or frozen whole cranberries (not dried ones) (you can find frozen ones in the frozen fruits isle of many grocery stores) 1 Cup of White Sugar
1 Cup of water
One well greased 9 Inch square baking pan or pyrex dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.
Procedure for crumble layers:
Sift together flour and baking soda, then add oatmeal and brown sugar and mix well. Combine with the butter till it forms a pressable crumble mixture. A pastry cutter works well for this, if you don’t have one, using your hands is just as good. Separate the mixture into two halves and press one half firmly and evenly into the bottom of the greased pan. Set the other aside for the topping.
Procedure for cranberry filling:
Dissolve the white sugar in water in a small pot and boil for 3-4 minutes until it appears to have thickened into a thin syrup. Stir periodically so that the sugar does not burn to the bottom of your pot. Once it has reached this stage, add the cranberries to this mixture and boil while stirring for approximately 4-5 minutes. The skins should split on the cranberries and the mixture should become syrupy and thick. Allow it to cool slightly, till the filling thickens, and then pour over the oatmeal mixture in the pan. Spread evenly and cover this with the remaining crumble topping.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, this will be slightly less in a pyrex dish. The crumble should be golden brown on top when it is done. Allow to cool before cutting. Keeping the cranberry square chilled until you plan to serve it will help make it easier to cut.
*Note, if you are substituting vegan butter in, I found it cooked a bit faster, so watch it carefully.