Holidays are a time for, undoubtedly, pie. I like to mix things up, to expand beyond the usual pumpkin or apple pie at the holiday table, and share other twists on common flavors.
Last year, I served dark chocolate pecan pie tarts and apple pear tartlets. This year, I’m serving up new flavors. Sure, we still have a pumpkin pie on the table, but there are two things I love baking around the holidays: miniature desserts that serve one and great combinations. Pecans and dark chocolate, apples and pears – both great combinations. This year, I’m serving up tangy meets sweet in a combination of cranberries and cherries. The result: delicious! I wanted to share this recipe with you both as a last minute dessert go-to for tomorrow’s big day and as a great pie to serve throughout the holiday season and winter months.
I prefer serving my holiday desserts in a single-serve version for multiple reasons. Baking time is reduced, and we all know that any spare moment in the kitchen around the holidays is a necessary one. And it also gives each person a personal dessert, a pie backed just for them. It’s all his or hers to devour. No sharing! For me, it provides a more personalized, special experience.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a day of rest, bountiful eating, football, and perhaps a little reflection squeezed in. A time to be thankful for the bounty in our lives, the goodness and happiness that fill the small and the monumental moments. I hope you enjoy it in the kitchen, in front of the television, and in your hearts.
Cranberry Cherry Pies
Makes four small, single-serve pies
2 1/2 cups organic flour
1 1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
1/2 cup ice water
1 cup unsalted butter – should be well chilled and cut into small squares
Egg wash – one beaten egg yolk combined with one tablespoon water
4 cups fresh red, tart cherries, pitted
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix well. Add the cherries and cranberries and coat well in the dry mixture. Set aside for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Combine salt, butter, and flour in your standing mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix for approximately one minute until well blended. Gradually add the ice water into the mixture and blend until just combined. Be careful not to over blend. You will see small dots of butter in the mixture.
- Remove dough from mixer. Blend together with your hands. Separate the dough into two balls. Place one dough ball in the refrigerator and the other on an amply floured work surface.
- Roll the dough on your work surface into a circular area. Should be very thin. Using a large circular cutter or even a 1 cup measuring cup, begin cutting small circles in the dough.
- Transfer each circle to an oven safe ramekin and press in. You should have enough dough to fill four standard ramekins.
- In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and water. Mix well. Using a brush, apply egg wash to the pastry-filled cavity of each ramekin.
- Place approximately a cup of filling in each tartlet cavity. The filling should stand just below the top of the pan.
- Using the remaining dough, roll flat and thin. Using the same cutting method you did previously, cut four circles. Delicately and carefully place each circle atop the ramekin. Using your fingers and a small amount of water if necessary, press the pie top into the dough.
- Using a fork, create a trim pattern along the edges. Apply remaining egg wash to each pie top. Place two small slits in the top of each pie for venting.
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the pie tops are golden brown. Let rest for five minutes. Then, remove the ramekins to a cooling rack for additional cooling.