The last slice of Thanksgiving pie has just been eaten. Literally speaking. A plate with gorgeous purple berry streaks sits next to the key board as I type this. We have a turkey drumstick and a few scoops of stuffing still left in the fridge. Turkey and stuffing have their place of honor in the Thanksgiving leftovers hall of fame. But let’s speak the truth here- they don’t hold a match to leftover pie. I mean, you don’t go around all weekend long eating stuffing or glazed carrots for every meal of the day. Or maybe you do...
But pie. Leftover pie. There’s no shame in having a slice for breakfast on Friday. Or licking the pie plate when the (put on your sad face) last slice has been taken.
This year I skipped over the “Thanksgiving three” and went straight to my little back-up storage freezer for the last of the wild summer blueberries. Well, all but a handful being reserved for a batch of mid-winter muffins. Of course, blueberry pie can’t really be called a legitimate Thanksgiving pie unless you toss in something else Thanksgivingy. As mashed potatoes and giblets gravy have no place in a dessert pie (although they look pretty damn good in this savory one), I added a cup of cranberries to this baby.
And it was good. Of course, it still looked like a blueberry pie, which was part of the fun. You take a bite, taste the summery sweetness of the blueberries up front, then your tongue gets a little bit confused, yet excited when it hits a little tart cranberry note. With an innocent cup of sugar, two cinnamon sticks, and just a hint of lemon, this was a really good follow-up to a heavy turkey dinner. I tried my hand for the very first time at making a lattice top crust, but there’s no reason why you can’t make a slightly easier vented crust. Of course, the other nice thing about a blueberry pie with cranberries is that it’s appropriate to make just about any time of the year. Just as long as you have a tub of vanilla ice cream on hand. (Or a carton of milk if it’s breakfast, of course).
Cran Blueberry Pie
Blåbærpai med tranebær
Adapted from a Bon Appétite recipe, found here
Makes one- 9” (23 cm) two crust pie
For the filling:
20 oz. (550 g) frozen wild blueberries
6 oz. (170 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup (200 g) sugar
3 Tablespoon Cornstarch
2 cinnamon sticks (alternately, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 disks for a 9” (23 cm) double crust pie (use your favorite, or try my favorite)
Heavy cream, for brushing
Grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
1. Make the filling by combining the frozen blueberries, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium-large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to blend, until the mixture thickens and begins to boil, about 12-14 minutes. Once the mixture reaches a boil, continue boiling for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or other container and let cool completely before proceeding.
2. When you are ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Roll out one disk of pie crust on a well-floured surface into a 12-inch (30.5 cm) round. Line a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate with the crust. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the filling mixture, then spread the filling into the bottom pie crust.
3. Roll out the remaining disk of pie dough and cut into thin strips. Use the strips to form a lattice over the top of the filling. Cut off the excess crust and pinch the edges together, using your fingers to create a fluted pattern. Lightly brush the top crust of the pie with heavy cream. Sprinkle grated nutmeg over the crust.
4. Place the assembled pie on the upper rack of the oven (top-middle position). Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lower oven rack beneath the pie. Bake, rotating halfway through baking, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 60-70 minutes. If the crust seems to be browning too quickly, loosely tent with foil to prevent over-browning. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature.