To keep my spirits up (and to stay awake past 7PM) until November 28th actually arrives, I've been practicing holiday recipes. The best and most unusual thing I've made so far is undoubtedly this cranberry relish pie. It is heady with the fragrance of orange peel, boldly tart, subtly sweet, and encased by cheddar flecked crust. Even if you're not interested in going to the trouble of baking a pie, the relish itself is delicious spooned over store-bought angel food cake or mixed into oatmeal. It's also an easy and colorful gift for a hostess or a guest and will keep in a mason jar for several weeks.
12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 unwaxed orange
1 apple, core removed*
1 cup baking walnuts
1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar
1. Pulse cranberries, orange (pith and all) and apple individually and mix with sugar and walnuts. Let sit in the fridge at least over night, but ideally for five days before using.
*Normally I use a Fuji apple, but in this pie I recommend a Pink Lady for a sweeter pie or a Granny Smith for a more tart flavor.
Cheddar Vodka Crust (<-- click link for recipe) *
1 batch cranberry relish
1/4 cup AP flour or 3 Tablespoons corn starch
1 egg yolk
splash of heavy cream
2 Tablesooons butter
turbinado sugar for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Mix flour with cranberry relish. Roll out half of dough and place in a greased 9" pie pan. Fill with relish mix, dot with butter and working quickly, decorate as desired with the other half (here is how to lattice).
3. Beat egg yolk with heavy cream. Brush on top part of crust and dust with sugar.
4. Bake for 45-55 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. You may need to use a crust shield half way through (here is how you make one).
* For this particular pie, I like a really strong, aged sharp white cheddar.