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Cherry-Cranberry Pie


Cherry-Cranberry Pie

Here is a great way to use fresh cranberries while they are available. Play around with the seasoning, using sweet spices like cinnamon andĀ  ginger, if you prefer. Or vanilla instead of almond extract. Orange juice instead of lemon would work. You could use chopped pecans and vanilla in the seasoning. The choices are yours.

Cherry-Cranberry Pie

2 (9-inch) pie crusts, unbaked
2 cups sweet cherries, thawed if using frozen (or 3 cups if making a deep dish pie)
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons tapioca pearls
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out one pie crust and line the bottom of your pie plate.

In a large bowl, mix cherries, cranberries, brown sugar, tapioca, almond extract, lemon juice and salt together, making sure all of the brown sugar is broken down and incorporated.

Pour cherry-cranberry filling into bottom pie crust. Roll out top crust and cover if desired, cutting slits in the top so steam will release. Or cut strip about 1/2-inch wide and create a lattice on top, weaving over and under the other strips. Crimp the edges of the two crusts together. Brush with egg mixture. Sprinkle sugar on top (or sprinkle a 5:1 mixture of sugar to salt on top).

Bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 more minutes or until the filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

Makes 1 pie.

From John Griffin

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Griffin to Go: Listen to Those Cranberries When They Call


Cranberries are a'calling.

I was walking through the produce section of the grocery store when I heard the cranberries beckon me. They had dulcet voices in an alto range, you see, and sounded like some forlorn Greek chorus. Thanksgiving is over, but the tart joy of cranberries lives on, they seemed to say.

It’s not often that food calls me like that. OK, ice cream calls me all the time, but that’s another matter.

What would I do with those little beads? I could string them for the Christmas tree. But I already have strands of red beads made of wood that look like cranberries. I didn’t need the fruit on top of it.

Then it hit me: Cherry-Cranberry Pie.

My mom had mentioned last week that she made a cherry pie for Thanksgiving, and the mere thought of it had me drooling, though we had enjoyed a blueberry-blackberry pie and her pumpkin pie. But nothing has quite the hold of cherry pie, no matter the time of year. So, why not combine the two into a sweet-tart treat, I told myself.

But how should it be seasoned?

Cherry-Cranberry Pie

I decided simplest would be best and that I would take my cue from cherry pie, not a cranberry relish. Yes to almond extract and lemon juice. No to cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and even my favorite, ginger. I also went with the frozen sweet cherries at the market instead of the canned sour cherries because of the tartness of the cranberries. (If I were back in Louisville, I’m sure I’d use some of the sour cherries that my parents grow in their backyard and freeze until needed.)

I used the base common to many of the fruit pies I make: tapioca pearls for thickening, brown sugar, salt and a little butter in addition to the almond and lemon.

With a plan in mind, I was ready to go. I started playing a favorite CD, “Christmas with Maureen McGovern,” and started to work with no thoughts of deadlines or obligations, just the image of happy faces eating pie. Before I knew it, the stress of the day was gone, the strips of lattice had been woven on top and the pie was in the oven. And yes, it came out exactly as planned.

I hope the rest of all of our holiday baking goes by as dreamily.

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Use the Freshest Fruit in Apricot-Cherry Almond Cobbler


Apricots

“Apricots, cherries and almonds are all members of the same botanical family, prunus, which accounts for the natural way their flavors support and enhance each other,” Cindy Mushet writes in “The Art and Soul of Baking.” “This is a double dose of almond here to accent the fruit filling within. The cakelike topping bursts with the rich presence of almond paste, while almond liqueur gives a hint of flavor when tossed with the sliced fruit.”

Apricot-Cherry Almond Cobbler

Filling:
1 pound firm-ripe tart apricots, halved, pitted and each half cut into 4 or 5 slices
1 pound sweet, firm-ripe cherries, pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon amaretto (almond liqueur)

Cherries

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 ounces almond paste, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
Vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position an oven rack in the center.

For the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the apricot slices, cherries, sugar and amaretto until all the fruit is coated evenly. Use the spatula to scrape into a 9-inch ceramic pie pan or other wide 6-cup baking dish and spread in an even layer.

For the topping: Place the sugar and almond paste in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until the almond paste is broken into tiny pieces. Add the softened butter and beat on medium-high until the mixture is very light in color, almost white, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and blend well. Scrape down the bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on lowest speed, add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter. Scrape down the bowl and finish blending by hand with the spatula. Cover the fruit by letting the batter fall off the spatula in long bands over the fruit (don’t try to spread it or it will sink into theĀ  fruit). Use the spatula to blend gently the bands of batter together until it covers the fruit in a single layer.

You may want to place a baking sheet or a piece of foil under the cobbler to catch any juices that may bubble over. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the topping is nicely browned and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the topping comes out clean. The fruit should be bubbling and soft. Serve warm, accompanied by vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream.

Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 to 3 days. Reheat, covered loosely with foil, in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until warmed through.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From “The Art and Soul of Baking” by Cindy Mushet

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