With the holidays now behind us we have the time to relax after the hustle and bustle, contemplate our now slightly larger waistlines, resolve to eat better, exercise more, yada yada yada… In the meantime, here’s one more sweet treat as you ponder the new year. Of all the things I baked over the holidays this had to be my favorite… So much so, I made it twice. Tart cranberries mingled with sweet, crisp pears…
…came together with a slight hint of lemon in such a way that you couldn’t help coming back for more.
I don’t even like cranberries! But I really loved this pie. This year I wanted to do something not so traditional. You see, our Thanksgivings are large… I mean, really large. I’m talking about 50 family members coming together at my father’s house to celebrate. It’s wonderful! It’s the one time during the year when you know you’re going to get to see everyone. So for the holiday, everyone pitches in. It’s a must with a crowd like that! We usually have 3 or 4 turkeys, sides and fixin’s galore and a dessert table to die for. But all too often we end up with a bunch of pumpkin pies and a bunch of apple pies. This year I wanted to change it up a bit and do something different. So I knew cranberry pear was the way to go.
Doing it twice wasn’t only because it was such a favorite amongst my family and myself but also because of the great camera debacle of 2010. You see, I carefully cut, mixed, filled and baked all the while snapping pictures along the way. I presented my beautiful pie to a thankful crowd and it was wonderfully well received.
Throughout the day with family and friends, in true “me” fashion I continued to snap away capturing countless memories and jovial moments fully intending to have wonderful celebratory pictures to go along with this post. (I also intended to do this post way earlier… however, the camera debacle put the kibosh on that.) The next day after emerging from my food coma, I sat down to feast my eyes on all the wonderful pictures of pies, poultry and people only to have my camera go momentarily bonkers and eat all my pictures! Every last one… Gone! I was mortified. An entire holiday, no longer documented for posterity. Secondly, my glorious pie pictures forever lost. Alas, as I closed the computer and retired the camera I thought of the upside which was getting to remake this delectable pie and potentially take even better pictures the second time around, which I think I accomplished.
As you all should know by now, I don’t do a double crust pie well. The first time around I attempted the oh so dreaded double crust pie in traditional fashion and ended up with a pretty good attempt. It wasn’t terrible looking. However, this time I decided to go with my first ever lattice top! I like it better personally. So feast your eyes (and hopefully your mouths) upon this beautiful, delicious creation…
**…Your Mouth Will Thank You!
Cranberry Pear Pie
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks plus 1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 c. ice water
3 large Bosc pears, peeled cored and sliced
1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. apricot preserves
2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar
Make The Crust:
-In a food processor, pulse 2 1/2 cups of the flour and salt. Add 2 sticks of butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Drizzle on the ice water and pulse until evenly moistened crumbs form; turn out onto a surface and form into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Flatten into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.
-When ready to use, roll a disk of the dough to a 12″ round on a lightly floured surface; fit into a deep 10″ glass pie plate and brush the overhang with water and crimp.
Make The Filling:
-Preheat oven to 425°F.
-Stir together the pears and both types of cranberries.
-Next, add the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
-Transfer the mixture into the pie plate.
-On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining dough disk to a 12 inch round. Cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.
-Lay half of the strips horizontally across the pie about a half inch apart. Weave the remaining strips through the horizontally laid strips to create a lattice top. Crimp the edges of the strips where they meet the bottom pie crust.
-Warm the apricot preserves. Using a pastry brush, brush the apricot preserves over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with the Turbinado sugar.
-Put the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for about 55 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from All You