Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bejeweled

It seems that every Summer I go on a weird tropical fruit kick - totally out of season for us (not to mention there's a gorgeous array of local fruit around!), so the kiwis, mangoes and lychees aren't at their peak, but I can't help it! They start calling to me at the grocery store like little beacons of sunshine, promising that if I eat their juicy pulp it will automatically transport me to their place of origin and bathe me in warmth.

And it works. For a while. But then I get my kicks out stuffing myself with sub-par, slightly sour foliage and eventually the lustre fades - especially when I get my first unbridled taste of real, in season fruit from the farmers market. All of a sudden it doesn't matter that the mangoes will take me to India or the kiwis are a passport to Italy... I'm perfectly content with my own backyard's (literally!) raspberries or the peaches from the guy down the road.

Inevitably, though, by the time that common sense hits my impulsive brain, lo and behold I've still got two or three kinds of alien fruit hanging out in the fridge, and they're not getting any younger! So there's not much left to do but figure out a way to use them up. Cue another non-sensical move for the Summer season... especially in the recent heat wave of humidex 40°C (104°F). Yup, this girl fired up the oven. Not only did I crank up the oven, but I made one of the least Summery desserts I can think of: pound cake. Oh yeah, and to jack up the "out of season" quotient even more? I tossed in some dried cranberries too.

Hey, I never claimed to be rational! But the result is delicious - tender batter chock-full of home-made butter, but also with a touch of whole grain flour, low-fat buttermilk, and egg substitute (we had a carton in the freezer for some reason). Then instead of adding sugary chocolate or cream cheese to the cake, I folded in vibrant jewels of diced fruit. Practically health food, right? Right?

Mango-Cranberry Pound Cake
Makes 2 loaves or a 12-cup tube pan, 16 slices
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cholesterol-free egg substitute (or 6 eggs)
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup Kamut flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6.5 fl oz buttermilk
20 oz (about 3 2/3 cups) diced mango
1/2 cup dried cranberries
  1. Heat oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 12-cup tube cake or Bundt cake pan (or two loaf pans).
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the EggBeaters and vanilla.
  4. Whisk together flours, allspice, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  5. Alternating with the buttermilk, beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture.
  6. Fold in mango and cranberries.
  7. Bake 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes, until tests done.
  8. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert on the rack to cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 297.3
Total Fat: 9.2 g
Cholesterol: 23.4 mg
Sodium: 118.6 mg
Total Carbs: 50.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 5.4 g