Ignore the lousy photo – forgot to take and this is just the messy leftover!
This has to be one of my favorite desserts. I mean really and truly. First, the color! Wow. Gotta love that bright red pie. Second is the flaky buttery crust. Really mouth-watering. Next is the filling – I know, I know, it is cranberries and many seem to be put off by them, but I don’t get it. I really don’t. This filling is delicious – bursting with flavor both tart and sweet and against the crust it is fabulous. And lastly – the streusel topping! Streusel is the best and on top of a pie – well…again, wow. Make this if you have some serious dessert lovers. Sylvie said it was probably the best thing that I’ve made in a long while. And Andy, he wouldn’t try it. So…enjoy if you can and have willing company or family.
I think this is easiest if you make this in steps. Make the streusel one day during the week – it will keep in the fridge. Make the tart dough and even roll out (then place in freezer) until ready to bake.
That way, in the AM, you can blind bake your pie crust, while it is baking make the filling (so easy) and then you already have streusel. Just less overwhelming that way.
cranberry streusel pie (from Smitten Kitchen):
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (155 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (6 grams)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks (4 ounces or 115 grams)
1/4 cup very cold water, (60 ml) plus an additional tablespoon if needed
4 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (from 1 1/2 12-ounce bags)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 to 2 more tablespoons, if desired, to taste
a little bit of orange zest
2 pinches kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted first if you have the time
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Ok, so for the pie dough – I’m copying from Deb’s post – since she gives great detail and great direction. I did the food processor method and the dough was perfection! And I par baked the crust which she also suggests.
“the pie dough:
- By hand, with my one-bowl method: In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.
Form the crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. Return to fridge until ready to fill.
[Optional: If you’d like to par-bake the crust, once you’ve rolled it out, freeze it for 10 minutes inside your pie tin, until solid. Prick unbaked crust with a fork several times. Line it with lightly buttered foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or pennies. Bake at 400°F (205°C) on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove paper or foil and weights, and bake 5 to 10 more minutes until crust is golden brown and lightly crisp.]”
Ok, so heat oven to 375 degrees…or lower the oven if you just par baked.
For the filing, mix all the ingredients together. And if cranberries are frozen, no worries, they will just take a few more minutes to warm up. After about 5 minutes (or 10 if cranberries frozen), the cranberries will begin to leak juices. Cook, stirring here and there until filling is loose. You can crush some of the berries a bit too. Transfer the filling to a bowl to let cool for a bit.
For the topping, place the oats (if you are using whole ones) in a food processor and grind until powdery. Add toasted pecans and grind too. Add flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt, and lastly, the butter, pulsing a few times to combine.
Sprinkle the streusel on top of the filling and bake the pie for about 45 to 50 minutes. You want the juices to bubble. If the pie browns to fast, just lay foil loosely on top.
When done, eat warm or cold (I like it cold!) with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yum.