Christmas Day as an adult is very different than how it was when you were a kid. At least it is for me. As a kid it was all I could do to fall asleep on Christmas Eve and stay asleep until the time my parents told us we were allowed to wake them up.
The excitement in the air is almost palpable, and almost unbearable. One year when I was still quite young (but old enough to remember it vividly), I came out into the living room, glanced at what Santa had brought, and puked all over the floor. Thankfully my Dad shut off the video camera just in time, and the footage picks up some time later after my Mom had cleaned up both me and floor. And Christmas proceeded as normal.
My family brings this story up every year, which may or may not push some of my buttons.
As an adult, the so-excited-you-could-vomit magic of Christmas is gone. In a way I guess that’s sad, but I get to enjoy it on a whole different level. This year Steve and I slept in late and then opened the presents under our tree. Our dog had a blast destroying his new toys and I scored some great swag. We had breakfast and champagne (I’ll take champagne over excitement-induced vomiting any day) at a friend’s house and then had some time to relax before dinner with Steve’s family.
So I baked a pie. This Cranberry Blueberry Pie to be exact. It was fun, therapeutic, and made the whole house smell like Christmas. I’m not sure why, but baking a pie makes me feel whole, more so than any other treat. Also, a baked pie has got to be one of the prettiest things.
This pie baked up beautifully, it was almost like another Christmas present to myself. It was crazy delicious too. We served it for dessert after the most amazing prime rib Christmas dinner. Lucky for me, everyone was pretty full and only ate small pieces, so I got to bring some home.
Christmas may be over, but that absolutely does not mean you have to wait a whole year to make this pie. It would be good any time of year. The blueberry flavor is strong, enhanced by the tartness of the cranberries, and the cinnamon and nutmeg create a deeper flavor but aren’t so strong that is tastes like it only belongs on the table during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, this pie is perfect for the holidays, but not exclusively. Basically, I’m trying to convince you to make this pie for yourself as soon as possible.
While Christmas morning may not be quite as magical as it was when you were a kid, here’s a recipe you can definitely get excited about. The pie is a little tart, so serve it with some sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (or both!).
Cranberry Blueberry Pie
From Bon Appetit, November 2010 Issue
Makes one nine inch pie
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup frozen vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
4-6 tablespoons ice water
Heavy whipping cream (for brushing)
Ground nutmeg (for sprinkling)
For the filling:
16 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse in short intervals until the mixture resembles small peas. Alternatively, combine all ingredients with a pastry cutter in a large bowl. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture begins to come together in a ball. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To make the filling, combine the cranberries, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue to boil for 2 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly. Transfer to another dish and cool completely.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a sheet pan with foil.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough disk to about 12 inches round. Transfer crust to a 9 inch pie or tart dish and trim overhang to about 1 inch. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the filling and pour into the crust. Roll the second disk into a rectangle and cut lengthwise into 1 inch strips. Arrange on top of pie in a lattice pattern, if desired.
Brush edges and lattice with heavy whipping cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake on the sheet pan (to catch any overflowing filling) until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool pie on wire rack. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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