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Cranberry Raisin Pie Recipe & Video

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There was a time when the only thing I made with fresh cranberries was cranberry sauce. Today I love to use them in my baking. One terrific tasting recipe that uses fresh cranberries is this Cranberry Raisin Pie. It is a two crusted pie with a rich and spicy filling that not only contains fresh cranberries, but also raisins, chunks of apple, chopped walnuts, and even candied mixed peel. Take one bite and you might find yourself thinking of mincemeat, albeit an alcohol free, vegetarian-style mincemeat. Serve it warm or at room temperature, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Since this Cranberry Raisin Pie has both a top and bottom pastry crust, it has that perfect pastry-to-filling ratio. I am using my favorite pie crust pastry, which has a buttery flavor and a crumbly texture that pairs well with all the rich flavors of the filling. As you will notice from the picture I have made the top crust quite decorative, and this is done by cutting the pastry into stars using a star-shaped cookie cutter. This really dresses up the pie and also serves the purpose of allowing everyone to get a peak at the filling.

As I said above, the filling is really a very simple vegetarian, alcohol free, mincemeat. This recipe comes from my Mom who found it in our local Winnipeg (Canada) newspaper back in the 1970s. The author was Margo Oliver and she describes this pie's filling as "this spicy filling is almost a not-to-rich mincemeat". I love how easy this filling is to prepare and you can make it several days ahead of time and simply store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the pie.

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Pie Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add about 1/4 cup (60 ml/grams) water and process until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half (about 330 grams each), flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour, or until firm. 

Cranberry Raisin Filling: While the pastry is chilling, place the cranberries, raisins, water, orange juice, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil, and cook until the skins of the cranberries pop, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the diced apples, sugar, candied mixed peel, lemon or orange zest, chopped nuts, ground cinnamon, salt, and rum, if using. Let cool to room temperature. You can make the filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for several days.

After the dough has chilled, remove one portion from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure even thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before filling. Next, roll the second round of pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. Using a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) star shaped cookie cutter, cut out 20 stars. With the scraps you can cut out smaller stars. Place the stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream.

Assemble: Pour the Cranberry Raisin Filling into the pie pan lined with pastry. Cut 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the filling. Then lightly brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash. Next, lightly brush the pastry stars with the egg wash. Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the pastry stars in a circular pattern on top of the filling, making sure the edges of the stars are touching. Sprinkle the pastry stars with a little granulated white sugar. Place the assembled pie in the refrigerator.

Then preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (215 degrees C). If using an electric oven, place the wire rack in the bottom third of your oven.

Place the pie pan on a larger baking sheet. Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and the filling is starting to bubble at the edges (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool about three hours, or until the filling has set, before serving.

Makes 1 - 9 inch (23 cm) pie.

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Pie Crust:

2 3/4 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (4 grams) salt

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 - 80 ml/grams) icy cold  water

Cranberry Raisin Filling:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) raw fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 cup (90 grams) seedless dark or golden raisins

1/4 cup (60 ml/grams) water

1/4 cup (60 ml/grams) orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup (130 grams) peeled and diced apple (about 1 large)

2/3 cup (140 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (40 grams) candied mixed peel (optional)

1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (outer skin)

1/2 cup (50 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1 tablespoon Rum or Grand Marnier (optional)

Egg Wash:

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1 tablespoon cream (light, heavy, or half-an-half)

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