I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Probably because I can never manage to keep a resolution that I make in January, despite my good intentions. Resolutions made throughout the rest of the year seem to fare better. But the closer I get to the 1st of the year, the more doomed my resolve seems to be. In 2012 I declared on this very blog that I would publish a post a week throughout the year. I did pretty well the first half, then I decided to move to Kenya and there went that. If I made any resolutions last year, they are long forgotten by now. So I think this year my resolution — declared on this, the 31st of January — is to make resolutions whenever I darn well please, break them whenever I feel so inclined, and forget about this silly fascination with setting them each January 1st. So I suppose it’s fitting for the recipe that accompanies my rebellious resolution to be for a cranberry pie baked in a rectangular dish. Who says it has to be Thanksgiving to eat cranberries? And who says that pies always have to be round? If it’s got a double crust and something tasty and gooey in the middle, it’s a pie as far as I’m concerned.
Cranberry Sage Pie
Recipe from Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Recipe for 1 double crust pie
¾ cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons ground arrowroot
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen (two 10-ounce bags)
1 small apple
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing
For the pie:
Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and pastry round or lattice to top. In a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the dried cranberries to cover by about an inch. Allow them to plump while making the remaining filling.
In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine the chopped sage, granulated and brown sugars, salt, arrowroot, cinnamon, and allspice. Process until the sage is fully blended. Pour the sugar mixture into a large bowl. Use the same food processor bowl to briefly process 2 cups of the whole cranberries to a rough chop; add them, along with the remaining 2 cups whole cranberries, to the sugar mixture. Peel the apple and shred on the large holes of a box grater. In a colander, drain the plumped dried cranberries of excess water, but do not press or squeeze them out. Add the shredded apple and the drained dried cranberries to the bowl with the rest of the filling and mix well. Stir in the vanilla extract and egg, and mix well.
Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425°F.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn). Sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 35 to 45 minutes longer. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep for 3 days refrigerated or for up to 2 days at room temperature.