Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie

Pies get lots of love in November, but once Thanksgiving is over everyone moves on to cookies and forgets all about pie. I get it – I like cookies too (and don’t worry, there will be plenty of new ones here this month), but I think there’s room for both cookies and pie in the sugar-filled month of December. And I can’t wait another minute to tell you about this cranberry and wild blueberry pie!

My love for this pie is bordering on obsession. I made it to share on Thanksgiving, and after leaving the leftovers at my mom’s house I decided I needed to make it a second time just so I could have one more slice. That’s right, I made this pie twice in the span of a week and a half. I don’t typically make the same dessert twice in a year, nevermind a month, so that’s pretty big.

Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie

There’s just so many great things about this recipe. Let’s start with the unique flavor combination of cranberry and blueberry – I’m pretty sure I’ve never had anything like it before. It may sound a little unusual but the sweetness of the wild blueberries pairs perfectly with the tart cranberries. And because the recipe calls for both frozen blueberries and cranberries, no worries about finding fruit in season. You can make it any time of year you want!

This pie is really low maintenance too. The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and if you also prep the pie dough in advance, the assembly is the only thing left to do when you’re ready to bake. And speaking of baking, I love the way this filling sets up. It’s thick enough that the pie can be cut into beautiful slices so you won’t be left with a soupy mess in your pie plate (the worst!), but it’s still juicy and not at all gummy. It would be a great addition to your holiday dessert table – the centerpiece around which you place all those cookie trays, perhaps? :)

Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie

One more thing – as I was typing up the directions for making the lattice, I realized it would have been much easier to describe with photos than words. I did take a few pics as I went which you will see below, but if things are still confusing and you think step-by-step directions with photos in a separate post would be useful, let me know and I’ll put it on my to-do list.

Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie
crust adapted from Martha Stewart via The Baker Chick, filling from Bon Appetit, November 2010

Crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4-1/2 cup ice water

Filling
16 oz frozen wild blueberries
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

heavy cream (for brushing)
freshly grated nutmeg (for sprinkling)

To make the crust: Add the flour, salt and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir briefly to combine. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the dry ingredients – continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, the largest pieces of butter should be about the size of peas. With the mixer on low, add 1/4 cup of the water. Gradually add more water until the dough holds together (you may not need all of it).

Turn the dough out onto your work surface. Divide in half, shape each half into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding.

To make the filling: Add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to boil and thickens (it’ll be really dry at first but it’ll cook down and liquid will be released from the fruit), about 12-14 minutes. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly then transfer to a heatproof dish and allow to cool completely. (Note: you can make the filling up to 3 days ahead of time – just cover and store in the refrigerator.)

To assemble the pie: Preheat oven to 400 F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll one disc of dough into a 12-inch circle (lifting and turning as you go). Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease it in. Trim the excess dough so it hangs over the edge by no more than 1 inch. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the filling and then pour it into the pie crust.

Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie

Roll the second disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on your work surface. Using a pastry cutter, pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips (you’ll need at least 10 or 11 of them). Place 5 or 6 strips of dough across the pie vertically. Fold every other strip of pie dough down across the middle then lay one new strip across the middle horizontally. Unfold the vertical strips. Now, fold down the vertical strips opposite the ones you folded in the previous strip. Lay another strip horizontally (above the one you previously placed), then unfold the vertical strips. Repeat this process to lay one or two more strips toward the top of the pie, then repeat on the bottom half of the pie until the lattice is complete.

Brush the edges of the bottom crust with heavy cream, then press the edges of the lattice strips into it to adhere. Fold the bottom crust up and over the strips to secure them, then crimp the edges in a decorative pattern.

Brush the pie crust lightly with heavy cream then sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over the top. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling thickly. Keep an eye on the crust – if it starts to brown too much cover the edges with a pie shield or aluminum foil.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow the pie to cool completely before serving.