Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday is PIE DAY!

At a family gathering during the holidays, my cousin Laurie handed out sweet little bags of dried cranberries to everyone.   I thought that it was such a thoughtful token.  You could choose to eat them as a healthy snack to foil all the holiday sweets, or you could choose to bake them into some more holiday sweets.  Of course, being a Pies and Aprons reader, Laurie suggested that I might want to bake a dried cranberry pie.   Inspired by a mincemeat pie that was served the other night, I decided that this week would be the time to honor that request. 

Dried Cranberry and Nut Pie

2 c dried cranberries
1 c orange juice
2 T orange zest
1/2 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/2 t apple pie spice
1/4 t salt
1/2 c water
1T butter
1 T lemon juice
3/4 c walnuts and pecans, finely chopped
-combine cranberries, orange juice and zest in a medium saucepan, and bring to low simmer
-while this is simmering, combine sugar, cornstarch, spice and salt in bowl, then slowly add the water
-stir this into the simmering mixture, then bring to a slow boil
-boil until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly so mixture does not burn
-remove from heat and stir in butter
-set aside to cool
-stir in lemon juice and nuts
-spoon into prepared pie crust and top with crust
-bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown

This is a lovely, subtle pie, with the tart and sweet bites of dried cranberry highlighted by a hint of spice and the freshness of the orange and lemon flavors.  The mix of dried fruit and nuts gives it a nice body without being overwhelmingly heavy.  Give it a try for a mid-winter treat, or add it to your list for the next holiday season.

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