Thanksgiving Recipe: Cranberry Pie

I think cranberry sauce is overrated. I like turkey without it, and I don't love it mixing with the mashed potatoes. I prefer cranberries as the star of a dish, and the perfect way to showcase them at Thanksgiving is in a pie. This recipe, courtesy of my grandmother, is a favorite at my family's Thanksgiving (especially for my chocolate-hating grandfather). It's a great addition to a holiday pie line-up, and they're a great contrast to sweeter pies, like apple and pumpkin. Serve it with some also-not-too-sweet homemade whipped cream and relish the Thanksgiving awesomeness.

Cranberry Pie
Pastry
1 stick + 1 tbsp butter, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups flour
1/4 icy water
1 tbsp salt

Add 2/3 stick cubed butter, the flour, and the salt to a food processor and whirl until it resembles meal.

Add the last third and the extra tablespoon of butter and blend until lumps form.

Add the ice water and whirl again until the dough forms a ball, then remove the ball and flatten.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

Roll the dough until it's 1/3 inch thick. Grate the remaining 3 tbsp butter onto the top of the dough evenly, then fold into thirds like a letter.

Chill for another half hour, wrapped, then remove and roll out until the dough is 1/8 inch and fit into pie tins. This will make two pie crusts.

Cranberry Filling
4 cups cranberries, cup into halves (this is time consuming, but if you do it with friends, it doesn't take too long)
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss berries and sugar together.

Line a pie plate with pastry and fill with the cranberry and sugar mixture.

Drizzle two tablespoons of the maple syrup over the fruit and place the second pastry circle over the top. Securely crimp the pastry together and cut a 2 inch square (or other shape) hole into the center.

Paint the pie with the egg wash. Place the pie on a cookie sheet to prevent dripping in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F.

Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for another hour, adding one tablespoon of maple syrup every 15-20 minutes.

If the pie darkens too quickly, use a sheet of tin foil to deflect heat. When the pie's juices visibly bubble, the pie is done. Cool on a rack for several hours, and do not cut this pie while still hot (warm is okay). Enjoy!

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