Would like to make a pie this weekend for the MIL visit. Am bored with apple and pumpkin, don't care much for pecan. The citrus in my yard isn't quite ripe yet so would rather wait for those to come ripe before doing anything with citrus.
I do have some cranberries in the freezer so maybe something with that?
What types of pie is everyone making these days?
Yesterday I made the Old Fashioned Apple Meringue from Sweety Pies. The apples in it are grated, and the egg yolks are used in the filling.
My winter ideas would be, besides using frozen fruit, an ice cream pie, custard/buttermilk/chess, or something chocolatey. There's also mincemeat, but I think that is the world's worst pie filling, so I won't be making it!
I have two suggestions for your cranberries, but one is a "torte" and one is a "tart" in the event that you are willing to stray a bit from your pie idea.
The first is a Chocolate Cranberry Torte--very festive and rich:
The second in a version of the Austrian Linzertorte with cranberry filling and a lattice topping. Be patient with the crust--sometimes I end up just pressing it into the tart pan because the almonds can make it crumbly. The recipe is pasted below--sorry for the length, but I just had it in a Word document.
18 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon packed grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole almonds (blanched, preferably), toasted
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons grated zest from 1 orange
1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Make the filling: Combine cranberries, sugar, peel, and salt in a large saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until most berries have burst, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to shallow bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, 2-3 hours
For the crust: Process the almonds in a food processor until finely ground, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Place the ground almonds, flour, spices, salt, and zest in a medium bowl and whisk. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the yolks and vanilla and mix at medium until combined. Add the flour and almond mixture and mix until combined. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Divide the dough in two pieces, one twice as large as the other. Roll the larger piece out or just press it into the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom (refrigerate the other piece). The layer should be about ¼ inch thick. Chill the pan in the freezer until firm, 15 minutes. Remove the pan and prick the dough lightly with a fork across the bottom. Line the pan with a square piece of lightly buttered aluminum foil and distribute pie weights evenly inside. Bake the crust until it is set and just slightly moist near the center, about 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake until the crust is dry and barely colored, 5 minutes longer. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Unwrap the remaining of dough and roll between 2 sheets of floured parchment to an 11 inch square 1/8 inch thick. Transfer onto a cookie sheet and chill until firm, 15 minutes.
Remove the cranberry filling from the refrigerator and spread evenly into the bottom of the tart pan. Remove the top sheet of parchment from the chilled rolled out dough. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and ruler, cut the dough into strips and form a lattice on top of the tart. Bake until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hour. Transfer the tart to a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar when cooled.
Have you thought about getting the pie cookbook? I've been working my way through it and it has a lot of unusual pies in it, like a pear pie with a white wine reduction or a peanut pie instead of pecan.
So far I have made several chess pies, peach turnovers, triple vanilla peach (delicious), strawberry ruhbarb (sp?) a few varities of apple, some unusual pumpkin, chocolate creme, a kahlua chocolate pie and I feel like I haven't even made a dent in it.
I actually have a pie cookbook. The author is Haedrich. Is this the same one you're talking about? I did see some pear recipes in there that look interesting...we don't get very good pears in AZ though so I haven't tried one yet. I assume you want them a little firm but here they are generally firm and flavorless.
Triple vanilla peach sounds wonderful. Will have to remember that for next summer...
Don't forget about pears.... they are great with cranberries, as well. And sweet potatoes - maybe with ginger or something in order to set it apart from the normal pumpkin?
This time of year I'm also a fan of 'combining' - usually I do rustic crostada types - pears with a layer of either of cooked down cranberries or chocolate on the bottom, or apple with a layer of cheddar cheese underneath.