Semolina Bars with cranberries

I  just LOVE cranberries. I discovered them when I moved to the U.S. I would always buy a bag around Thanksgiving, wishing they were available year-round.

And guess what? They are super good for you!

They have more antioxidants than 277 food stuff and most fruits!

I figured why not use them with our nammoora? After all, nammoora is our plain cake, only requiring  four ingredients, semolina, yogurt, butter, and ater (sugar syrup). I figured cranberries would cut down on the sweetness of the nammura.

It is an extremely moist and dense cake with the  tangy taste of the berries. It keeps very well in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups cranberries (can use frozen) chopped coarsely in a food processor

2 Tablespoons grated orange rind (optional)

1 1/2 cup fine semolina (can substitute cream of wheat)

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 or 2 eggs (optional)

1/4 cup fine granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup yogurt

pinch baking soda

1 teaspoon tahini to grease the baking dish

Sugar syrup (ater) : 3 cups of sugar, 1/2 lemon, 1 Tablespoon each of rose water and orange blossom water

METHOD:

  1. Place the semolina in a bowl. Mix in  the granulated sugar. Drop the butter by small lumps on this mixture and with your fingers or a wooden spoon incorporate the butter until it fully coats the semolina and looks like coarse sand.
  2. Grease a 9 in. square baking pan with a little tahineh. Mix the baking soda to the yogurt and with a wooden spoon incorporate the yogurt to the semolina mixture until the batter is wet but firm.
  3. Add the cranberries gently in a folding motion throughout the batter. Add the orange rind. Add the eggs if using at the point. Drop the batter in the pan and spread it throughout the pan evenly. Cover the pan with a towel and let it sit for at least 3 hours, to give the semolina time to soak up the yogurt.
  4. Make the ater: Pour 3 cups of sugar in a pot, add one cup of water and the juice of half a lemon. Mix and heat on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup starts to simmer. Skim it of any foam and let it boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water and rose water. Let it cool.
  5. When the 3 hours are up, place the nammoorah in a 375F oven for about 25 minutes until it is light golden in color and firm throughout. Remove and immediately pour half the quantity of sugar  syrup on the cake (about 1  cup) and let it soak for another 3 hours or overnight. When you are ready to eat it, cut it in small squares. Sahteyn!img_2710 img_2712 img_2715 img_2718

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NOTE:

This cake will yield 16 portions. It can be refrigerated and also frozen for a couple of weeks.

TIP:

An egg can be added to the batter to make it a bit fluffier, not so dense. If adding the eggs, let the batter rest in the fridge for three hours.


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5 Comments

  1. Posted November 26, 2010 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    This is interesting Joumana! I like cranberries too but in Algeria cannot find them. What else could I use?

  2. Posted November 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of these semolina bars! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Your Thanksgiving recipes are a fun twist on classics. xo

  3. Posted November 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Joumana what a delicious an beautiful idea! I love this! Love cranberries too.

  4. Roger
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Hello, I wonder if I can substitute the butter by oil, I tried with Sfouf and it worked well, but what about Nammourra, can you advise.
    Regards,
    Roger

  5. Joumana
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    @Roger: I just made some cookies with semolina and oil so I think the nammoura would work with oil as well.

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