I live for the planning, preparing, and anticipating of celebratory meals, especially Thanksgiving. The week before I lay awake at night, eager to dive into the kitchen. The night before, the turkey is marinating, the rolls are rising and the pies are baking. The day comes and it's slightly anticlimactic, but it's us and we're together, and it's perfect because we're together. I don't mind that it took hours and days of preperation for an hour around the table, because having my hands and heart in a tiny, messy kitchen is more filling than the meal itself. Regardless of the outcome, it is always worth it, and quite honestly, it is my favorite part. This consensus is not isolated to holiday meals, it spills over into the rest of my life, and I can't help but connect the dots.
This year I tried a brand new pie, first for friends, and then again on Thanksgiving. After tinkering with it a bit, I found a good balance between sweet and tart, in my opinion, just how a dessert should be. I rarely see pure cranberry desserts, they are often disguised or blended in with other fruits. They can be tart and are not everyone's cup of tea, but their color alone makes me swoon, and since I resonate with bold, this is quite possibly my new favorite pie. Serve it warm with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream and enjoy it with your favorite people this holiday season.
Tart Cranberry + Sweet Streusel Pie
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, frozen
1/4 c. ice water + 1-2 tbsp. if needed
20 oz. about 6 c. fresh cranberries
1 c. cane sugar
Zest from 1 orange
2 tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 c. oats
3/4 c. pecans
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. cane sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of butter, melted
For crust: Combine all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Cut frozen butter into cubes and place on top. Pulse a few times until flour resembles pea size crumbles. Pour in water and pulse until the a dough starts to form and then come together. On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a disk. Wrap in serran wrap and place in fridge or freezer while you prepare the rest of the of the pie.
For filling: Rinse berries and place them in a large pot. Add sugar, salt and orange zest. On medium heat, cook berries until they are start to sizzle and burst with juice. Stirling often, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cornstarch and mix thuroughly. Let the filling rest while you make the topping.
For streusel topping: Place oats and pecans in a food processor and pulse a few times to make a very coarse flour. Add to a large bowl with flour, sugars, spices and mix well. Pour over melted butter and work into flour until it is completely absorbed and crumbly.
Assemble your pie: Roll out the pie crust and place into pan. Working around the entire edge of the pan, scallop the crust using your index finger and thumb. Pour filling inside. Pour streusel on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and cranberries are juicing. Let your pie cool for at least 1 hour, preferably longer. The longer it sits, the clean the pie will cut and stay together. Serve with sweet whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.