Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blue + Orange + Cran = Pie!

I love my rectangular-shaped tart pan, which helped create a little visual variety at my Thanksgiving dessert table.

Our tradition is to serve several kinds of pie. Rather than bake a series of 9-inch rounds, I made one:  a pumpkin chiffon pie. I then did 4 small pecan pies in a mini-tart pan (actually Anthony made the filling and I made the crust), a banana cream pie deconstructed (the filling was layered with vanilla wafers and bananas) in a trifle bowl, and this elegant blueberry-cranberry pie as a long rectangle.

The recipe comes from a cookbook called The Thanksgiving Table, which has my favorite pie crust recipe that I use for almost all my pies now. You can find the exact instructions in the book, which is well worth the investment, or substitute whatever crust you like to use.

Though the recipe calls for making a double crust, I like to do cutouts and place them on top of the pie. Since I don't have any Thanksgiving-shaped cookie cutters, I use a pumpkin from my Halloween set. (One year I used bats, which I thought were cute, and everyone laughed at me!)

Though this looks like a traditional blueberry pie, the filling actually is a mix of blueberries and cranberries, plus a ground-up orange, which gives the pie a sour-sweet tang. 

Double-Crusted Cranberry-Blueberry Pie Filling
from The Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan

1/2 small orange, including peel, seeded and quartered
1 package (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
4 cups (about 1 1/4 lbs) fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch (I've also used flour)

Coarsely grind orange in mini chop. In a large saucepan, stir the orange into all the other ingredients to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a 10-inch pie plate (or any size you like) with pie dough. Pour cooled filling into pie shell, mounding in the center. Roll out more pie dough and cut out your favorite shapes. Lay these on top of the filling and brush with egg wash and turbinado sugar. 

Place pie in center of the oven with a rimmed baking sheet on the rack below to catch any blueberry drippings. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 50 minutes for round pie, but 35-40 for a rectangle. Cool on rack.  Serve warm or at room temp.

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