I recognize that the major pie holiday has just passed. All the pies are made, and even the turkey leftovers are picked over. BUT I made a pie that was so freaking delicious that I wanted to memorialize it, and if I wait until next Thanksgiving to write it down, I’ll forget it. Besides, cranberries are bright red and this is a perfectly acceptable holiday pie for Christmas.
I’ve said in the past that cranberries are the perfect overlooked pie fruit – they’re beautifully tart, have a high pectin content so they need no thickener, and are plentiful and available in months when most fresh fruit is sad. I loved that fresh cranberry marzipan pie, but I wanted to make a pie that was reminiscent of LeftKate’s favorite cranberry sauce since we were having a small Thanksgiving this year and I thought it was slightly ridiculous to have two cranberry sauces so I didn’t make that one. I found some inspiration in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible (currently on sale for Kindle! And yes, of course that is an affiliate link. Why not?) in the form of a Cranberry “Window” Pie – a double crust pie which also showed the beautiful fruit within.
I started with my current favorite pie crust recipe – a rough puff with a high proportion of butter to flour, from the Bravetart Cookbook (also an affiliate link, sadly not on sale. Still worthwhile). Rose’s instructions insist that the cranberries need to be halved, which I went ahead and did thanks to my
kitchen slave semi-willing 11-year-old sous-chef, but I’m not sure I would next time. It does help keep the berries separate and intact but I think I might like a more jammy texture at the end. It’s your choice based on your preferred texture of pie and the availability of 11-year-old sous chefs in your household.
Anwyay, I adjusted the spices, added a few ingredients, and TOTALLY FORGOT TO TURN THE OVEN DOWN WHEN I PUT THE PIE IN. My crust was beautifully crisp – no soggy bottoms here – but a wee bit overbaked on top. I would recommend against this.
The final result was wonderfully refreshing – I mean, it’s still pie – but the tartness and the spices just made the flavor absolutely pop after a big dinner. You should totally make this.
- 1 recipe for double crust pie dough
- 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries, washed and dried
- 1.25 cups + 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
- zest of two oranges
- 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
- ¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 3 Tablespoons golden syrup or honey, divided
- juice of two oranges
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- Roll out your pie dough and chill chill chill. Prick the bottom of your pie dough with a fork.
- Cut the cranberries in half (optional).
- Combine cranberries with ¾ cup sugar, orange zest, allspice, ginger and 1 T golden syrup. Toss to combine, and arrange in your bottom pie crust.
- Cover with the top pie crust, seal and crimp. Cut a large X in the top crust and fold back the triangles to create a fairly large "window".
- Chill the filled pie for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- When the pie is finished chilling, brush the top crust with milk and sprinkle over 1 Tablespoon of the sugar. Put it in the oven (baking a pie directly on a pizza stone will help crisp the bottom crust) and turn the heat down to 375 (I didn't do that, and it was mostly fine. I might try lowering it to 400 degrees next time). Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, the remaining ½ cup sugar and the remaining 2 Tablespoons golden syrup in a saucepan, and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce oven heat to 325, then pour the syrup into the "window" on top of tihe pie and bake for another 30 minutes.