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Apple cranberry Shortcakes
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Serves 8. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl combine the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the salt and the orange peel. Stir to blend. Add the buttermilk, the melted butter and the dried cranberries. Stir just until moist dough forms. Using a 1/3-cup measure, drop eight mounds of dough on a nonstick baking sheet. Using lightly floured hands pat each mound into a 2 1/2-inch mound that is about 1 1/2-inches high. Bake until shortcakes are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer shortcakes to wire rack and cool slightly. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir until fully mixed. Arrange the apple slices in a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples. Dot with butter. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until sugar is melted. Stir and cook for another 4 minutes, or until apples are fork tender. Remove from microwave, stir and cool slightly. Split the shortcakes. Place one bottom half on each of 8 dessert plates. Spoon some of filling on top of each shortcake and cover with top half of pastry. If desired, spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top of each shortcake.