Four & Twenty Blackbirds' cranberry sage sister winter pie

But my heart is
Returned to sister winter
But my heart is
As cold as ice

- Sufjan Stevens


The quote above is from one of my favorite songs. The first time I heard a song by Sufjan Stevens was in Flagstaff, when a friend of mine introduced me to this singer-songwriter. I knew one of his songs from The OC and immediately loved his melancholic music and lyrics. 

Last week I've been a bit melancholic myself too. I had a bad case of the stomach flu. I hardly ate anything, except for toast & marmelade, broth, and tiny pieces of apple. A few days later Rob came down with the same virus. 

Thankfully we both feel much better again. So I decided to bake pie for us. Cranberry sage pie from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds book. People keep telling me their pies are phenomenal, and since I don't live anywhere near NYC (boohoo..), I took the recipe, tweaked it slightly and it turned out great!

 

This cranberry & sage pie is so wintry, I love it. It's both sweet and tangy, the crust is crumbly, but not too much you know. And it's actually pretty easy to make! Even as this recipe might look super lenghty. Just give it a good read a few times and you'll see there's nothing to worry about!

Let me know what you think if you decide to give this recipe a try. Oh and I wouldn't blame you if you had a big dollop of whipped cream with it. <3


Cranberry & Sage Pie

Recipe inspired by Four & Twenty Blackbirds


You need:

For the crust
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
113 gram/1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice 

For the filling

3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp sage, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
4 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 small pear, coarsely grated
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
egg wash
demerara sugar, for sprinklin


How to make it:

The crust
1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.

2. Add the butter and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.

3. With a pastry blender, or by using your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are fine; make sure not to overblend).

4. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.

5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.

6. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons, using your hands to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. If the dough is too dry, add a little more ice water.

6. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.

7. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.


For the filling
1. Have ready and refrigerated one pastr-lined 9-inch pie pan and pastry round or lattice to top.

2. In a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the dried cranberries to cover. Allow them to soak while making the remaining filling.

3. In a food processor mix the chopped sage, granulated and brown sugars, salt, arrowroot, and cinnamon. Process until the sage is fully blended. Pour the sugar mixture into a large bowl.

4. Use the same food processor bowl to briefly chop up 2 cups of the whole cranberries (only pulse a few times so they are chopped roughly) Add them, along with the remaining 2 cups whole cranberries, to the sugar mixture.

7. Drain the plumped dried cranberries of excess water, but do not press or squeeze them out.

8. Add the shredded pear and the drained dried cranberries to the bowl with the rest of the filling and mix well. Stir in the vanilla extract and egg, and mix well.

9. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.

10. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes to set the pastry.


11. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425° F.

12. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn).

13. Sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven.

14. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown.

15. Lower the oven temperature to 375° F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 35 to 45 minutes longer.

16. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep for 3 days refrigerated or for up to 2 days at room temperature.