Discover the Origins, Evolution, and Irresistible Flavors of Cranberry Pies in American Culinary Heritage – Perfect for Thanksgiving and Beyond
Indulge your taste buds in the vibrant symphony of flavors with this delightful Cranberry Pie, a perfect fusion of tart cranberries and sweet, buttery crust. The crisscross pattern on the golden-brown crust adds a touch of visual appeal and hints at the delicious medley within.
This simple yet elegant recipe combines cranberries’ seasonal charm with a zesty orange twist, creating a dessert that is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the palate.
Follow these easy steps to craft a homemade masterpiece that will elevate any occasion, making every bite a celebration of the fall and holiday season.
Cranberry Pie with Crisscross Crust
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
For the Filling:
- 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar (adjust based on your preference for sweetness)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat the Oven:
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Prepare the Crust:
a. combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
b. Gradually add the ice water, pulsing until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
c. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a disc, put in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Make the Filling:
a. combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, zest, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.
b. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes.
c. mix the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water to create a slurry in a small bowl. Stir the slurry into the cranberry mixture and cook until it thickens further. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
4. Roll Out the Crust:
a. Roll out one disc of dough on a floured surface to fit a 9-inch pie dish. Transfer the crust to the pie dish, trimming any excess dough from the edges.
b. Pour the cranberry filling into the pie crust.
5. Create the Crisscross Crust:
a. Roll out the second disc of dough and cut it into strips. Arrange the strips in a crisscross pattern over the cranberry filling.
b. Trim any excess dough and press the edges to seal the crust.
6. Brush with Egg Wash:
Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg to give it a shiny finish.
Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
8. Cool and Serve:
Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing. This will allow the filling to set. If desired, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy your homemade cranberry pie with a delightful crisscross crust!
Did you know?
One fascinating aspect of cranberry bogs is the method used for harvesting cranberries. Instead of traditional picking, cranberry bogs often employ a technique known as wet harvesting. The bogs are flooded with water a day before gathering in wet harvesting.
The cranberry vines, which naturally float due to air pockets within the berries, rise to the water’s surface. Farmers then use special equipment, such as water reels and egg beaters, to gently agitate the water, causing the cranberries to detach from the vines.
The floating berries are corralled and collected, making the harvest more efficient. This method makes it easier to gather the berries and helps remove any underripe or damaged fruit, ensuring a higher-quality yield.
A little history:
Cranberry pies have a rich history in American culinary traditions, with cranberries being a native fruit to North America. The indigenous peoples of the region, including Native American tribes, were familiar with cranberries and used them for various purposes, including as a healthy food source.
When European settlers arrived in North America, they adopted cranberries in their cooking. Native Americans, who had been using cranberries for centuries, likely introduced them to early American colonists. The settlers began incorporating cranberries into various dishes, including pies, as they adapted their culinary practices to the available ingredients in the New World.
The first recorded recipe for a cranberry pie appeared in the 1847 edition of “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln. This early recipe laid the foundation for the popularity of cranberry pies in American cuisine. Over time, variations of cranberry pie recipes emerged, often incorporating other ingredients such as orange zest, nuts, and spices to enhance the flavor profile.
Cranberry pies became especially associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, where the berries’ tartness could complement the richness of other holiday dishes. Cranberry pies continue to be a beloved dessert during the fall and holiday seasons, symbolizing a connection to American history and a delicious tradition that has stood the test of time.