This Cranberry Blueberry Pie brings a little summer into the chill of fall. Sweet wild blueberries are paired with tart cranberries in just the right proportion, accented with zesty orange and cinnamon, tucked inside a flaky crust.
Cranberry Blueberry Pie Recipe
Since I have been making pies, this Cranberry Blueberry Pie has made its way to my Thanksgiving table every year. In my pie baking infancy, I followed a recipe by Bon Appetit magazine. While browsing through the magazine that year, it stuck out to me because it takes a decidedly summer fruit and pairs it with one that screams fall and I love that. But also it combines two fruits native to my home in New England (Massachusetts in particular being Cranberry central). Over the years, the pie has morphed and evolved into one that exactly suits my tastes with loads of wild blueberries mashed up against tart cranberries, combined with orange and cinnamon and baked up in the ultimate flaky pie crust.
It wouldn't feel like Thanksgiving without an appearance by this pie, and I know that it would be a welcome addition to any table!
Blueberry Cranberry Pie Ingredients
- Blueberries: I love to use frozen wild blueberries whenever I make a blueberry pie, and that is the what the idea of this pie is based on. I'm partial to using Wyman's of Maine as I'm a New Englander, and believe these are the best blueberries in the world.
- Cranberries: You can go ahead and use either frozen or fresh here.
- Quick cooking tapioca: This is my preferred thickening method. However, there are a few other alternatives for this. See the paragraph below for more information.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Orange zest and juice: This is my favorite flavor to pair with blueberries, especially since this pie is paired with cranberry, an autumnal ingredient.
- Cinnamon: Always with a blueberry pie!
What Type of Thickener To Use
This recipe was tested with a few different thickeners: flour, cornstarch and quick cooking tapioca. They all work well enough, but have different components to them. The recipe is written with quick cooking tapioca, but feel free to use whichever thickener you'd like based on what your preference is.
To use flour: Add ¼ cup to the mixture. A flour thickener will leave the filling set but still very juicy. However, it can make fruit filling slightly cloudy. If you plan to bake this pie a day or two ahead of time, this is a good choice to use.
To use cornstarch: Add 3 tablespoons to the mixture. A cornstarch thickener will leave the filling set but still slightly juicy. Like flour, it will leave the fruit filling slightly cloudy. If you plan to bake this pie a day or two ahead of time, this is a good choice to use.
To use quick cooking tapioca: Add 3 tablespoons to the mixture. Quick cooking tapioca is my preferred method to thicken a fruit pie because it leaves for a neat slice and fruit will remain clear and not muddled. The longer the pie sits, the more set the tapioca becomes. The pie was photographed with the quick cooking tapioca after being set for an entire day. If you cut the pie while it is still warm, it will be a little more juicy.
HOW TO MAKE A LATTICE TOP
There are many different methods out there for making a lattice pie top. I find it easier to start in the middle of the pie and weave the lattice from the middle outward. You can make your lattice width as wide or as skinny as you please. I have found that if I want to make a lattice with a tight weave I tend to need 1.5 batches of dough to complete it. So, if you want to make an extra tight weave with thin lattice strips, make another 9" pie crust recipe. To make a lattice:
- Take one strip of pastry and place it vertical in the middle of the pie. Take another strip of pastry and place is horizontal over the first strip of pastry in the middle of the pie.
- Take two more strips of pastry and place them vertical on either side.
- Fold back the top portion of the middle vertical piece of pastry and place a strip of pastry horizontally on top, before placing the strip back. Repeat this on the bottom portion of the vertical center piece of pastry.
- Repeat this process, weaving outward until the entire pie has a lattice crust.
- Cut the excess strips of pastry, and fold the crust over to connect with the lattice if desired, or just leave plain.
CAN YOU MAKE THIS A DOUBLE CRUST PIE?
If you don’t feel like making a lattice top you can make this pie as a double crust. Just make sure to cut a few strips into the crust to allow for proper ventilation.
MAKE AHEAD STEPS
As with most pies, there are a few steps you need to complete to get to the finished pie. A lot of these components can be broken down into steps and done ahead of time. As always, I encourage you to make the pastry and roll it out beforehand. The more time you give the gluten to chill out, the better your pie will be.
- Make the Pie Dough ahead of time. You can also make this gluten free with this pie crust, here. This pie needs a double crust. You can make it up to 2 days ahead, stored in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Roll out the pastry. This can be done 1 day ahead of time. Roll out the bottom crust and place in a pie pan. Roll out the top crust and cut the lattice pieces and lay them flat on a baking sheet. Alternatively, you can skip the lattice and just roll out a top crust. Keep both in the refrigerator, covered completely, until you are ready to make the pie.
- Assemble the pie: The entire pie can be assembled and frozen before being ready to bake. You can bake it straight from frozen, following the instructions below.
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BAKING A FROZEN PIE
- Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. Unwrap the frozen pie and let sit at room temperature until the oven is preheated and the dough is tacky.
- When the oven has reached 425º put an egg-wash on the crust and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
- Bake on the lowest rack for 20 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 400º and put a piece of aluminum foil around the outer edges of the pie to prevent it from burning. Cook for another 40-50 minutes, or until the middle of the pie is bubbling and the crust is golden brown and the pie has reached a temperature above 200ºF.
HOW TO TELL WHEN A FRUIT PIE IS DONE
It’s important to make sure that a fruit pie is cooked long enough so that it reaches a high enough temperature to activate the thickening agent. Most thickeners--such as cornstarch and flour--need to come close to the boiling point to activate. There are two main ways to tell when a fruit pie is done. The first is by sight. Look for the crust to be golden and crispy. More importantly, look for the filling to be bubbling from the middle of the pie. The bubbling doesn’t need to be rapid, but look for at least 1 bubble while you are checking the pie. This ensures it has reached the proper temperature and the thickener is activated.
The second and most fool proof way to make sure your pie is done, is to use an instant-read thermometer. I always check the temperature of each and every pie that I bake with one. For a fruit pie, you want the internal temperature to be above 200ºF.
HOW TO SERVE AND STORE IT
Serve this pie just slightly warm or at room temperature. It can be served as is, with whipped cream, or a la mode.
This pie can be stored fully baked at room temperature, covered, for 1-2 days. If you are storing it longer, cover and place in a refrigerator.
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