We’re not even to Thanksgiving, and I’ve heard much grumbling about ‘everything pumpkin this’ and ‘everything pumpkin that’. Everything is pumpkin spice at this time of year…except this pie! My Spiced Cranberry Cherry Pie doesn’t have one bit of pumpkin in it! Spice yes, pumpkin no. Next post we’ll prolly be right back to something pumpkin but, for now it’s all about glorious, luscious, tart cherries and even tarter cranberries in a sweet, spicy filling. The ‘spice’ part of this pie comes from a dash of spice I threw in at the end that took Spiced Cranberry Cherry Pie from wonderful to Wowza! I love this pie!
Pie making for me is quite relaxing, although that wasn’t always the case. I had told you in a recent post for Classic Cherry Pie that my Mom was magnificent at pie making, and early on I compared myself to her. I stressed myself out over pie! Like all things in life – make your own way and don’t judge yourself by others. Pie making is a journey. Make your pies with love and you’ll always be in the right place.
I absolutely love cherry pie and due to an overabundance of organic cranberries in my freezer, I decided to add a bag of cranberries to a bag of frozen pie cherries to see what happens. My husband loves tart fruit pies, and cranberries fit the bill on that. By themselves they are super tart. I try in general to hold down the amount of sugar in my fruit pies, and walk that line and shoot for juuuuusssttt sweet enough. I had to increase the sugar in this pie a bit more than I normally add to my Classic Cherry Pie , and even added a few tablespoons of brown sugar at the end. Always taste your fruit pies! Taste the raw fruit and taste again as you add ingredients.
Pie making session begins…
OK…I’ve talked about mise en place before, I know, and I always try to get all my needed ingredients out on the counter before I begin almost any dish or dessert. But for pie I find it an imperative. Remember to set out your rolling-pin! I always forget that much-needed tool and am usually covered in pie dough when I remember. So get everything you’ll need: bowl, flour, salt, Crisco or whatever fat you choose to use, cutting board and knife, zip-lock bags, ice water with ice in it, and a prepared baking pan. If you are cooking your filling first, as we are here, is your filling cooled?
For a more in-depth pie instruction, see my Classic Cherry Pie post. I’ll give the highlights here. Add just enough water to your flour, salt, fat mixture until it just comes together.
Gently form your dough into a round disc and place into a zip-lock bag to pop into the fridge. If you’re doing a double crust then divide your dough in roughly half, and put both discs of dough in the zip-lock to allow both to rest and chill in the fridge. The fridge rest time allows the flour to absorb all of the water and make it easier to handle. I have read dozens and dozens of pie crust recipes over the years, and got this tip from one of them. I cannot remember which one, but it has been invaluable. So thank you…whoever you are!
Overhead shot from the hubs! Rolling up the dough onto my rolling-pin. This rolling-pin is from my husband’s family. His grandfather Shively made it for my husband. I guess my husband made a rolling-pin for all of his female cousins when he was young and into wood working, but never made one for himself. Grandpa’s are good that way making you feel special. I adore this rolling-pin. It is a beautiful piece that will help me roll out pies as long as I’m here.
Finish up the Filling…
I have finished my cranberry-cherry filling and a taste told me that a bit more sweetener was needed, so I added 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. This extra sugar brought the sweetness to the desired amount, but I decided it just needed something…more. Per usual, I went with my gut and added some Penzey’s Baking Spice. Perfect! The spice added that perfect holiday touch to the pie. If you don’t have a Penzey’s store in your area or don’t want to purchase it online, Penzey’s blends cinnamon, anise, allspice, mace and cardamom so you could always add a bit of each. I added 1/8 teaspoon of spice to the fruit mixture.
One more word about the sweetness of this pie:
Please add more sweetness based on your fruit and personal preference. My husband actually thought it could use just a bit more sugar, and one of my friends who loved the pie also thought it could be just a bit sweeter. Me, who adores sweets thought it was absolutely perfect, so go with what you feel will work for your pie eaters.
Carefully roll your dough onto the pan and push into your pie plate.
Cut any extra dough off leaving enough to roll under and create a crimped or decorated edge. In goes the cooled, deliciously spiced cranberry and cherry mixture. Spread out filling and then top with another crust or add cookie cutter crust cut outs, or as I love to do with cherry pie – a Lattice Top.
Fancy-Dancy Lattice Top Pie…
Lattice top pies used to wig me out. Oh the pressure! Now I just go with it. Sure I make mistakes (I made 2 on this pie which I didn’t spot until I saw the photos!) but really, no one is going to refuse a piece of pie because this strip of pie dough should have gone under when you went over. It’s fine. It’s pie and it was made by You!
Can you spot my two (big) mess ups? Doesn’t matter. I loved doing it and it turned out beautifully. Delicious, too!
See once you bake it, all the little mistakes kind of melt together and create this golden brown halo of buttery pie crust. (cue the soaring music) I could just dive right into the tart sweet spicy filling of this pie that has bubbled up and pooled around the outer edge of the crust. This pie is still warm and the aroma is truly heavenly.
PRO TIP: another benefit of pre-cooking your pie fruit – more beautiful looking pies. No juice rolling over the side and less mess to clean up.
If you like this pie, here are a few more for you!
See…any ‘mistakes’ just melt away to yummy pie! Look at that vibrant, cranberry-cherry juice! Let the Holiday Festivities begin!
How did I make Spiced Cranberry Cherry Pie…healthier?:
It’s pie so not that healthy except there is fruit in it. Cranberries and cherries. Both powerhouses in their own right. Together, they’re Wonder Twins Power….Activated. Form of disease and cancer fighters.
- Cranberries: from WebMD: “In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries. One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity.”
- Cherries: have antioxidants that fight off heart disease, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. Their ability to fight inflammation make “…Cherries…one of the most recommended foods for those with exercise-related muscle pain.”
- For Pie Crust you'll need: Pastry mat, rolling pin, and parchment or foil covered heavy bottomed baking pan. Set a glass pyrex glass filled with ice and filtered water out for 10 minutes to get really cold.
- Pie Crust - crust recipe for 9" deep dish pie
- 3 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.25 cups Crisco, frozen or very cold, cut into very small cubes
- 10 tbsp ice water - adjust this amount according to your climate and home environment - start with 4-6 tbsp of ice water and increase by one tablespoon at a time
- For Filling you'll need a heavy bottomed large pot.
- Pie Filling
- 8.5 cups of Red pie cherries
- 12 oz organic cranberries
- 1 - 1.5 cup organic granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons Organic Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup AP flour
- 4 tablespoons Cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon Almond extract
- 2 tablespoon Coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon Penzey’s Baking Spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.
- Prepare a heavy baking pan with foil
- Mise en place: Prepare baking surface with all items needed to make pie crust: Flour, Crisco fresh from the freezer, salt, cutting board, knife, glass pyrex measuring cup full of ice and water, measuring spoons, pastry mat if you have one, open gallon zip-lock bags, measuring cups, foil lined heavy baking pan, and don't forget the rolling pin.
- In a large metal bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in the crisco with a fork or a pastry blender until only small pieces remain, most no larger than a pea.
- One tablespoon at a time add ice water - I usually have to add 10 tablespoons - but please add only enough so your dough just holds together.
- Divide your dough in the bowl and shape into 2 discs. Place each disc flat in a gallon sized zip-lock bag. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, make your pie filing by adding frozen cherries, frozen cranberries, sugars, flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt to your heavy bottomed pot. Mix ingredients and taste for sweetness and flavor. Adjust if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes for cherries to thaw and juices to develop at the bottom of the pan.
- After 10 minutes, stir mixture and taste again. If satisfied, turn on burner to a high-medium temperature and stir frequently while heating.
- Once the cherries have completely thawed, and the mixture begins to bubble and boil, watch carefully. Stir occasionally and watch the opaque, pinkish mixture turn to a clear, ruby red colored gel as the cornstarch thickens.
- Turn off the heat and pull from the burner. Add the vanilla, almond extract, coconut oil, and Penzey's Baking Spice (if using).
- Mix and taste again. Add either lemon juice or salt if additional 'zing' is required. My pie tasted just like Christmas.
- Allow mixture to cool while rolling out pie dough and fitting in the pie pan.
- Pull the zip lock bag from the fridge and remove one of the discs of dough. You may reseal the bag and return to the fridge until ready to roll out the top crust.
- On the pie surface - counter or pastry mat - sprinkle flour. Place the dough in the center and sprinkle with flour. Lightly flour your rolling pin and begin gently rolling out dough with short strokes. Turn the dough frequently to prevent sticking. Add extra flour if sticking occurs.
- If tears or breaks appear in the dough, gently press them back to together and gently roll over.
- When the pie dough circle is just a bit larger than the pie pan, either fold circle into quarters or roll dough onto rolling pin and roll or place onto pie pan.
- Gently push pie crust into pie pan and seal any breaks, carefully making sure the bottom and sides are completely sealed. This will prevent the fruit juices escaping the crust and sticking to the bottom.
- Chill pie pan with dough in the refrigerator until cherry filling is cooled. If you're doing a Lattice Top pie, I would go ahead and crimp your pie edges.
- When ready to fill, remove pie pan from the fridge an carefully spoon cherries and cranberry filling into the prepared pie pan.
- Remove pie dough disc from the refrigerator and take from the zip-lock bag. Roll this dough as you did the bottom crust.
- Now go crazy! Go with a Lattice Top or get a Holiday cookie cutter and cover the pie with cut outs, or just lay a full blanket of pie crust over the top.
- Once your choice of top crust is over the pie filling, then if Lattice top, blend in the strips of dough with the already crimped edges. If you're doing a double crust pie then crimp your edges, and cut about 4 slits in the top crust with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape,
- Place pie in the center of your heavy, foil wrapped baking pan. Carefully place pie in the oven on the center rack.
- Bake for about an hour, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling at the edges and center of pie. Begin checking at 45 minutes.
- If the edges are getting too brown, cover edges with foil strips. You may also carefully turn your pie for even baking. My pie was done in 45 minutes.
- When done baking, pull pie from the oven and allow to cool. Best cooled overnight or at least 6 hours. When completely cooled, the slices will come more easliy out of the pie pan.
- Prep time includes chilling time.
The post Spiced Cranberry Cherry Pie appeared first on Designing Vegan. If you make this beautiful dessert, I’d love to see how you decorated your pie edges. Did you go with Lattice top? Post to Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #designingvegan
That first slice is always a challenge getting it out of the pan. No one ever complains if they get the ‘lucky’ piece.