Cranberry Traditions

In the run up to Christmas, as I find myself pottering around in the kitchen more & more making preparations for the big day, experimenting & attempting to stuff enough food for a month in my freezer (hello gluttony!), I fill jars upon jars with preserves.

 

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Mincemeat for the pies, jams & chutneys for gifting, & of course Christmas dinner wouldn’t be without a jar of cranberry sauce to accompany the turkey. I’ll admit, on years where I may have fallen behind on the preserving, it can seem like quite a chore between work, trees & wrapping. It’s for this reason that I thoroughly enjoy making the cranberry sauce, it’s simple, fuss free, requires but 10 minutes of my time & the odd stir. I now make the same recipe year upon year as I find this cranberry sauce is perfect. Purposely, I make far too much of this ruby preserve than I ought, but there is a reason for this…

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Years ago, when attempting to make my sauce on Christmas Eve, I found that the recipe I had followed made far too much for my little turkey (even after a couple of sandwiches). Not content with wasting anything, I set about trying to conjure up a recipe to use up my efforts. I had my sauce, a second quantity of shortcrust pastry in the fridge intended for mince pies & enough chocolate in the house to trigger diabetes.

One flavour combination that I love is cranberry & white chocolate, I’ve already used this combination in both muffins & fudge, so why not a pie I thought? Sweeten the sauce a little, add in some white chocolate & see what happens.

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What did happen was a fantastic pie of sweet & tart festive flavours. My cranberry & white chocolate pie has now become a Christmas tradition in my house that I fully intend to continue for years to come.


CRANBERRY & WHITE CHOCOLATE PIE
(makes one 22cm pie)

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • zest x1 orange
  • 175g butter
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 300g cranberry sauce
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 200g white chocolate, roughly chopped

Method:

  • To make the pastry sift together the flour & icing sugar, add in the orange zest, cubed butter & rub together using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Add the cold water 1 tbsp at a time, using only enough so that the dough comes together
  • Shape the dough into a flattened disc, wrap in cling film & leave in the fridge to chill for at least an hour
  • Once the pastry has chilled, take half of it & roll out to approximately 3mm thick and use it to line the pie dish, trimming off any overhanging edges
  • Use a fork to pierce holes in the bottom of the pastry
  • Line the pastry case with baking parchment & fill with baking beans
  • Blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes at 180C
  • Remove the baking beans & parchment & return the case to the oven for a further 5 minutes, until it just starts to turn golden
  • Remove the case from the oven & leave to cool for 5 minutes,
  • To make the filling, simply combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Evenly spread the cranberry filling into the pie case
  • Roll out the remaining half of pastry & cut into strips (or whatever you like to decorate)
  • Lay the strips on top of the pie both horizontally & vertically, weaving them as you go to create a lattice effect
  • Bake the pie at 180°C for 20 minutes in the oven
  • After 20 minutes check to see if the edge is browning & gently wrap the edge of the pie in foil if it is & return to the oven for a further 5 – 10 minutes
  • Remove from the oven & allow to coo slightly before serving

Goes great with ice cream

xmas-pud

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